Background > Navy Training and Testing
Navy HSTT EIS/OEIS Informational Video
Importance of Study Area

For decades, Navy training and testing areas within the HSTT Study Area have
provided a safe, yet realistic environment for training Sailors and testing systems.
The proximity of these areas to naval homeports allows for:

  • Greater efficiencies during training and testing
  • Shorter transit times
  • Reduced fuel use, costs, and emissions
  • Reduced wear and tear on vessels, submarines, and aircraft
Training Sailors close to home also maximizes their training time and reduces time
Why the Navy Trains and Tests
Naval forces must be ready to respond to many different situations. The skills needed to achieve military readiness are challenging to master and perishable without constant practice. Training activities must therefore be diverse and as realistic as possible to prepare Sailors to complete their mission and ensure their success and survival. While simulators provide early skill repetition and enhance teamwork, there is no substitute for live training in a realistic environment. The HSTT Study Area provides a range of realistic training environments and sufficient air and sea space necessary for safety and mission success.

In addition to training Sailors for the real-world missions they will encounter when deployed, continued military readiness requires providing Navy personnel with the military assets necessary to support their missions and gives them a technological edge over adversaries. The HSTT Study Area provides the air and sea space necessary to conduct Navy research, development, testing, and evaluation activities (“testing activities”) to ensure vessels, aircraft, and weapons systems operate as intended. Conducting testing activities in varying marine environments, such as differing water depths, seafloor types, salinity levels, and other ocean conditions, and in replicated warfighting environments allows for accurate evaluation of systems before use by Sailors during deployment.
Training and Testing in Hawaii and SOCAL

Training Activities in the HSTT Study Area

The Navy must maintain a rigorous, comprehensive training regimen to ensure ships are prepared to deploy on schedule and Sailors are ready to carry out their duties when called upon. Sailors participate in four levels of training, from learning basic skills to working with other military services. This training includes:

  • Classroom and simulation training, usually using computers.
  • Basic level training, consisting of individuals, small groups of personnel, or a single crew (ship, submarine, or aircraft) training on its own.
  • Intermediate level training, involving strike groups operating together as large forces in exercises that may last several weeks. After completing this training, Sailors are well-prepared and may be certified for deployment or other activities.
  • Advanced level training, involving exercises during which a large group of forces is provided with a situation and must plan and respond to it as if responding to a real crisis.

Tactical Skills Training

Training activities in the HSTT Study Area provide Sailors with the opportunity to learn and practice skills they need to operate machinery or weapons systems. These activities provide realistic experience and include:

  • Operating aircraft, ships, and submarines
  • Conducting weapons training
  • Detecting and locating submarines
  • Finding and removing underwater mines and other explosive ordnance disposal
  • Practicing vessel searches and interdiction

Testing Activities in the HSTT Study Area

Testing activities conducted in the HSTT Study Area are important for maintaining readiness. Research and development of new technologies by the U.S. Department of Defense occurs continually to ensure the U.S. military can counter new and emerging threats. These technologies must be tested and evaluated before use by the fleet. Testing activities may include:

  • Basic and applied scientific research and technology development
  • Testing, evaluation, and maintenance of sensors and systems, such as missiles, torpedoes, radar, active and passive sonar systems, vessels, submarines, and aircraft
  • Acquisition of technologically advanced vessels, aircraft, and systems to support Navy missions

Although simulation is a key component in the development of vessels, aircraft, and systems, it does not provide critical data on how they will perform or whether they will be able to meet performance and other specification requirements in the environment in which they are intended to operate. For this reason, vessels, aircraft systems, and system components must undergo at-sea testing.

Navy vessels, aircraft, and systems must be tested and evaluated within the broadest range of operating conditions available because Sailors must be capable of performing varying missions within the wide range of conditions  that exist worldwide. Access to unique range attributes, such as marine environments that simulate a threatening environment, allow components to be tested and improved before deployment. Navy personnel must be assured that vessels, aircraft, and systems will meet performance specifications in the real-world environment. Testing activities occur at sea, in air, and in port, and may occur independently or in combination with training activities. 

Some testing activities are similar to training activities and may appear to be the same to an observer; however, the purpose of the activity differs. For example, Sailors may fire a torpedo to practice tactics, while researchers may fire a torpedo to assess the technology or to ensure that the torpedo meets performance specifications.