AZARNG Military Compatibility Areas
An important step in fostering compatible development and activities without overregulating is the establishment of the AZARNG Military Compatibility Areas ( MCAs ). The MCAs are geographic areas within AZARNG operational footprints outside the installations where certain military activities may impact local communities and vice versa . The MCAs allow stakeholders to easily identify locations where development would be compatible or incompatible , relative to each type of military operation . Each of the four AZARNG sites has its own set of MCAs that together compose a larger site-specific Military Compatibility Area Overlay District ( MCAOD ). There are three additional MCAs that are not specific to individual AZARNG sites .
The recommended strategies within the MCAs are designed to accomplish the following :
• Protect public health , safety , and welfare ;
• Promote an orderly transition between community and military activity areas so that land uses remain compatible ;
• Maintain operational capabilities of AZARNG sites and training areas ;
• Promote an awareness of the size and scope of military activities to protect areas outside the AZARNG site boundaries that are used for mission operations ( e . g ., flight training areas ).
• Inform local communities of compatibility recommendations within the designated areas that are part of this JLUS .
RITTENHOUSE TRAINING SITE
The Rittenhouse Training Site is approximately three miles east of the Town of Queen Creek on 480 acres leased from the Bureau of Land Management . Rittenhouse Training Site is an important support facility for different types of helicopter training for the AZARNG . Types of helicopter training that occur there include : touch-and-go landings , dust landings , emergency procedures , multiship training , slope operations , sling load transportation ( transporting supplies and equipment by suspending them from a rope or tether beneath a helicopter ), and Bambi Bucket training ( transporting a 660-gallon bucket of water suspended beneath a helicopter ). It is the closest helicopter training facility to Papago Military Reservation and primarily used by pilots from that location . As such , it plays a critical role in reducing fuel costs associated with training at sites that are further away .
Rittenhouse Training Site also serves as a maneuver and training area for light forces . It is especially important in supporting pre-mobilization field training exercises , as it is easily accessed by soldiers at Papago Military Reservation during ramp-up activities in preparation of deployment .
Military Compatibility Areas
There were two MCAs identified for Rittenhouse Training Site . Land Use MCA
The Land Use MCA is composed of all current parcels with 25 percent of their land area located within a ½ mile of the boundary of Rittenhouse Training Site . Strategies associated with this MCA are related to land use planning , real estate disclosures , including notes on platting documents , and educating surrounding property owners about military operations in the area . It is further recommended that this MCA serve as a notification area by the jurisdictions to the AZARNG on proposed developments . Future development within this MCA should be characterized by lower density / intensity uses , such as one dwelling unit per acre for residential developments , with ordinances promoting uses that are compatible with military activities .
Helicopter Overflight MCA
The Helicopter MCA encompasses the flight patterns used in Bambi bucket and sling load flight patterns and a half-mile buffer area around it . This MCA is meant to guide future development in order to limit the height of buildings and structures such as communication towers so they do not impact safe helicopter flight operations and to minimize uses that would be impacted by helicopter noise . Due to the low-level flight activity that occurs in this MCA , structure height should be limited to 50 feet above ground level . Additionally , unmanned aerial systems ( UASs ) should be regulated in this area so that they do not interfere with helicopter operations or the safety of AZARNG personnel .
The following are key recommendations to address compatibility issues around Rittenhouse Training Site .
• Leverage Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Overflight Area Zones to establish ordinances that protect Rittenhouse Training Site ’ s flight operations .
• Conduct a cost benefit analysis to relocate missions from Rittenhouse Training Site .
• Consider relocating missions from Rittenhouse Training Site to another location .