Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) Program

What is it?

The ACUB program supports the Army's mission to fight and win the nation's wars. Winning wars requires a trained and ready force. Trained and ready Soldiers require land for maneuver exercises, live fire training, equipment and Soldier skill testing, and other operations. Training restrictions, costly workarounds, and compromised training realism can result from incompatible development surrounding the installation (external encroachment) and from threatened and endangered species on the installation (internal encroachment). Title 10, Section 2684a of the United States Code authorizes the Department of Defense to form agreements with non-federal governments or private organizations to limit encroachments and other constraints on military training, testing, and operations by establishing buffers around installations. The Army implements this authority through the ACUB program, which is managed overall at Army Headquarters level by the office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management (OACSIM). Active Army cooperative agreements are managed by USAEC (a subcommand of Headquarters Installation Management Command [IMCOM]) and Army National Guard Directorate ACUB cooperative agreements are managed by the Army National Guard Environmental Programs Division.


The ACUB program allows installations to work with partners to encumber off-post land to protect habitat and buffer training without acquiring any new land for Army ownership. Through ACUB, the Army reaches out to partners to identify mutual objectives of land conservation and to prevent development of critical open areas. The Army can contribute funds to the partner’s purchase of easements or properties from willing landowners. These partnerships preserve high-value habitat and limit incompatible development in the vicinity of military installations. Establishing buffer areas around Army installations limits the effects of encroachment and maximizes land inside the installation that can be used to support the installation's mission.

What has the Army done?

More than $258 million has been contributed to the ACUB program (as of 31 September 2012) through the Army's partnerships with local and national conservation groups, state and county governments, and other federal agencies. Combined with over $275 million in executed funds from Army/DoD, the ACUB program is permanently preserving over 207,000 acres of buffer lands around Army installations — helping to "sustain the mission, secure the future."


You can view a list of all the Army's ACUB cooperative agreement partners. You can also view the ACUB Program end of year summaries and a Map and Summary depicting where ACUB programs have been established.

What does the Army have planned?

The Army plans to continue supporting installations with established ACUB programs. In addition, there are plans to initiate new ACUBs at additional installations that have identified a need for preventing encroachment. Click here to view the ACUB proposal process for establishing new ACUB programs.

Why is this important?

The United States originally established military installations in rural areas far from population centers. As the Nation's population has grown, urban sprawl now abuts many installations. Noise, dust, and smoke from weapons, vehicles, and aircraft prompt citizen complaints about military training. Commanders frequently are required to choose between being good neighbors and meeting training and testing requirements. Noise concerns, the presence of cultural and historic resources, and the distribution of endangered species can result in training restrictions affecting military readiness. This is referred to as encroachment.


Through ACUB the Army realizes greater training flexibility and reduced encroachment; the partner gets financial support for land conservation, including endangered species and habitat protection, and other conservation uses; and private landowners realize financial incentives and tax benefits while preserving land legacy and heritage for future generations.

Read more about it

See the ACUB program at work with these postcards:
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Fort Bragg 

Fort AP Hill 

Fort Lewis 

Camp Ripley

Fort Sill
Fort Stewart




















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