The Nellis Complex Compatible Use Plan (CUP) is the result of a collaborative planning effort among the Nellis Complex, surrounding jurisdictions, state and federal agencies, and other affected stakeholders that addresses compatible land use around Nellis Complex facilities — Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), Creech AFB, and the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR). The Nellis Complex CUP was funded through a grant from the Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation and contributions by the CUP sponsor, Clark County. The CUP effort can directly benefit both the military and surrounding region by:
The Implementation Plan, Background Report, and Executive Summary are available for download on the Resources Page.
Compatibility, in relation to military readiness, is the balance and/or compromise between community and military needs and interests. The goal of compatibility planning is to foster an environment in which both entities can thrive. For example, land uses such as schools and hospitals are incompatible with loud noise associated with some military operations. Proactive, compatible land use planning ensures noise-sensitive land uses are restricted in areas subject to loud noise and so the sustainability of operations and military readiness.
Existing conditions data for the project Area of Interest obtained from the Policy Committee, Technical Committee, other stakeholders, and the public was assessed for current and potential future compatibility issues. This assessment also identified the influence of regulatory measures on land use decisions and considered the impacts of existing and projected development trends within the Area of Interest.
Twenty-five compatibility factors, or general classes of compatibility issues, were reviewed in order to identify specific issues influencing compatibility in the Nellis Complex region. The broad framework ensured all types of potential issues were considered. Ultimately, 49 compatibility issues representing 20 of the 25 factors were identified.
Local and Regional Importance
Considered the U.S. Air Force’s “crown jewel,” the Nellis Complex is a vital asset to current and future national security. Although each of the three facilities an associated airspace comprising the complex has its own specific set of missions, mission objectives are integrated to create real-time, interrelated, joint training components in an ideal climate for year-round military aircraft operations. The Nellis Complex supports a population of more than 70,000 people, including military and civilian employees and contractors, dependents, and retirees and generates roughly $5.26 billion in economic benefits throughout the State of Nevada.
Military Strategic Importance
The Nellis Complex carries out testing of the most advanced aircraft and weapons systems and tactics for warfighters around the globe. Nellis AFB is a key component in tactics development and training for the F-22 and F-35, among other aircraft. Nellis AFB assists the advancement of innovative technology and tactics through its capacity to facilitate complex, integrated aerial combat training exercises for every type of aircraft and weapons system used by the Air Force. Creech AFB is home to the global, remotely piloted aircraft mission that supports unmanned aircraft utilization and control in combat operations and humanitarian efforts. The Nellis Complex provides important testing environments, such as the NTTR, that allows warfighters to engage in the most sophisticated air-to-air and air-to-surface combat training. The NTTR is the largest contiguous and most advanced air and ground test and training range complex in the lower 48 states available for peacetime military operations. It provides our nation’s military and its international allies with a battlespace environment.
In addition to its contributions to national defense, Nellis Complex generates significant employment opportunities and impacts to the local and regional economies. The installations also provide critical community support during domestic and national emergencies, including rescue and medical services.
The goal of the CUP was to reduce potential land use conflicts between the Nellis Complex and surrounding communities while accommodating new compatible growth and economic development, sustaining economic vitality, protecting public health and safety, and protecting operational missions. The three core objectives of the CUP are understanding, collaboration, and actions.
UNDERSTANDING. Bring together community and military representatives in an open forum to discuss compatibility issues, perspectives, and needs
COLLABORATION. Encourage cooperative, coordinated land use and resource planning among the military and surrounding communities
ACTIONS. Provide a set of mutually supported tools and procedures through which local jurisdictions, agencies, the military, and other stakeholders can implement recommendations.
The Nellis Complex CUP provided stakeholders with:
The heart of the Nellis Complex CUP is a set of 120 recommended strategies presented in the Implementation Plan. Since the Nellis Complex CUP was the result of a collaborative planning process, the strategies represent a true consensus — a realistic and coordinated approach to compatibility planning that was developed with the support of stakeholders involved throughout the process. The strategies are uniquely tailored to each installation’s and each community’s specific needs and circumstances.
It is important to note that the CUP is not an enforceable plan, but rather provides a recommended set of strategies that should be implemented by stakeholders to address current and potential future compatibility issues. The key to successfully implementing the strategies is the establishment of a Compatible Use Implementation Committee to oversee the execution of the CUP strategies. This committee has been convened and is participating in the Compatible Use Implementation project.
Some of the strategies are tied to specific geographical footprints around the Nellis AFB, Creech AFB, and the NTTR. The footprints are based on military activities outside the installation boundaries such as flight corridors and areas with increased safety and noise concerns. These geographies are called Military Compatibility Areas and include specific strategies to guide compatible land use within them.
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The Nellis Complex Compatible Use Plan and Compatible Use Implementation projects were performed under contract with Clark County, Nevada, with financial support from the Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC). The content reflects the views of Clark County and project partners involved in the development of this study and does not necessarily reflect the views of OLDCC.