NEWS | Nov. 21, 2023

Army Compatible Use Buffer

Army Compatible Use Buffer

A Valued Partnership

The cities of Saratoga Springs and Herriman joined the Utah National Guard at a small event hosted at Camp Williams on Oct. 4, 2023. The event recognized the immense work and partnership that enabled the purchase of over 10 acres of land adjacent to the boundary of Camp Williams that was repurposed from residential housing development to the future site of the Saratoga Springs City cemetery. Today’s event signified a successful negotiation that provided value to all parties.

“In the end, the developer kept their development value, Saratoga Springs received land for their city cemetery, Camp Williams maintains training capability while reducing impact to our neighbors, and Herriman City, well, they can smile knowing they completed this transaction for the benefit of all communities around Camp Williams,” said Mr. Paul Reymond, program manager for the Utah National Guard Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB).

In attendance at the event were Mayor Jim Miller and several staff and city council members from Saratoga Springs, and Mayor Lorin Palmer along with other staff from Herriman City. Brigadier General Joseph Green, The Assistant Adjutant General for the Utah Army National Guard and other staff members were also in attendance. Brig. Gen. Green commented on the historic significance of the National Guard, and their unique role in defending the original colonies as citizen Soldiers assembled on the village green to drill. Just as the historic militia drilled in local villages, today’s national guard strives to maintain that same connection to the communities in which it serves and trains. Camp Williams is the “village green” for the Utah National Guard.

The Utah National Guard has seen increased development along the borders of its primary training installation at Camp Williams. Growth and development bring with it an increased impact on the communities adjacent to military training lands and ranges. For the past decade the Utah National Guard has invested significant capital in mitigating the impact military training has on the friends and neighbors who have moved into the communities directly adjacent to its training center at Camp Williams.

The ACUB program helps ensure sustainable growth that accounts for land uses compatible with military training while helping cities develop areas near the installation that are less impacted by military training. Some successful developments compatible with training include trails, green spaces, or as today’s event recognized, cemeteries.

"We take pride in being part of the communities," Green said. “It is what sets us in the National Guard apart from other active military service members. We are part of our communities, and we are here permanently.”

By focusing on compatible land use city planners can reduce the noise, light, and other environmental impacts on residential housing areas and increase quality of life for residents that move into developments near military installations.

“The Utah National Guard is proud of all our community partners, specifically Herriman City, and Saratoga Springs who are here with us today.” said Green, “We are proud of the efforts made to educate their communities on the disruptions caused periodically by military training. They have taken large steps to ensure that ongoing community development is compatible with existing military training requirements.”

So far, the ACUB program has invested nearly $75 million in combined federal, state, and community money in efforts to increase public spaces directly adjacent to Camp Williams Military Training Center that will maintain compatible use for decades to come thus ensuring smart community development, ecological benefit for wildlife and recreation, all while maintaining essential military training lands and facilities. From its first project in 2015, the ACUB and its partners have secured compatible use of over 3500 acres, 38% of the estimated total project area. The Utah National Guard, along with our community partners anticipate continued growth in the program for many years to come. Together we work to ensure reduced impact on the community populations surrounding Camp Williams, increased value in conservation and recreation efforts, and sustainment of critical military training resources that increase the readiness of Soldiers, first responders, and many others that train and use Camp Williams. This wide range of training activities ensure not only the Soldiers and Airmen of the Utah National Guard, but also hundreds of U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and other department of Defense and State agency personnel are trained and ready to respond to missions right here in the state and anywhere in the world.

Article Written by Lt. Col. Chris Kroeber

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