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Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station / Camp Navajo, Arizona

Program: Compatible Use

Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station / Camp Navajo, Arizona

Coconino County communities are working together with Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station and Camp Navajo to ensure compatibility with civilian development and base operations.

Coconino County is serving as the study sponsor for a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) for the areas surrounding the Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station / Camp Navajo. The Coconino County JLUS is a community-driven planning process designed to promote compatible civilian development in support of military readiness and defense capabilities; protect public health, safety, welfare, and quality of life; promote the economic viability of the communities; and foster continued communication between Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station / Camp Navajo and the surrounding communities to address compatibility issues.

The JLUS planning process benefits both the military installations and surrounding communities by identifying existing and future land use conflicts, and where mitigation strategies, ordinances, and future planning may counter possible civilian development that may impair continued military operations.

Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station (NOFS) is located five miles west of Flagstaff and operates as a dark-sky astronomical observation site. NOFS conducts accurate observations of the position of stars to form the basis for star catalogs and reference frames for celestial navigation and orientation of space systems. NOFS also maintains Precise Time and Time Intervals reference used across the Department of Defense. NOFS’ mission includes the analysis and interpretation of astrometric and photometric observations. Because dark night skies are critical to NOFS’ mission, light pollution is the key compatibility challenge.

Camp Navajo is approximately 12 miles west of Flagstaff and 1.5 miles southeast of NOFS and offers a premier high-altitude training center. Camp Navajo serves as an active duty and Reserve Component maneuver training site for all military departments. The installation encompasses 28,255 Army-owned acres operated by the Arizona Army National Guard, and serves the Reserve and National Guard and active duty Air Force and Marine Corps units.

The key compatibility challenges that Camp Navajo faces involves a proposed residential development adjacent to the installation, which is likely to impair the operational utility of the Camp Navajo. These concerns include increased noise complaints from residents from training missions and increased civilian trespassing. Additionally, civilian development can cause habitat loss, resulting in an increased number of candidate, threatened, or endangered species moving onto or through the installation. Urban development and alternative energy sources can also cause frequency spectrum concerns, as well as airspace and light challenges.

Point of Contact

William McNeely

Assistant Director, Community Development

Coconino County

(928) 679-8869

Program: Compatible Use

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