What Are Military Sensitive Zones
Arms and Weapons Zones
- The colonial Army was relatively small and individual soldiers were charged with providing the weapons they used in battle. As the country grew, the government procured and stocked weapons and ammunition in case of war or attack by foreign forces. This policy continues to the present. The major stores of arms and weapons are located in sensitive zones, usually at large military bases where base soldiers are given the task of protecting these stockpiles.
- Military commanders classify zones as sensitive to protect secret training strategies. This includes land and sea forces. In some instances the zones are temporary (for the specific time of the training), but some training areas have a permanent classification as a sensitive zone and all entry to the area is restricted. Naval maneuvers are good examples of temporary training zones.
- Certain resources are classified as critical to national defense. These include uranium for use in nuclear weapons and food supplies. Military bases are located near these geographic resources to guarantee--if war should break out--that the United States would have adequate supplies of these items to provide for civilians, as well as supply the soldiers with the food they require to wage war. Some resources are protected by U.S. troops, even though they are located outside the United States.
- Strategy areas have long been part of the sensitive zone classification. At the turn of the century, ships required coaling stations to refuel. Outlets on islands were used for this purpose. The U.S. space program uses several strategy zones for emergency landings of the space shuttle, and a base in South America is kept for emergency situations. Early bases in strategy zones, such as Guantanamo in Cuba, are still under U.S. control.
- New military equipment, such as airplanes and tanks, are tested in remote outposts to limit public access. These sensitive zones are used for testing for years before the public is introduced to the new military devices and equipment. Atomic bomb test sites in the state of New Mexico were classified as sensitive zones. The Stealth Bomber is an example of the modern development and testing done in sensitive zones. Large areas of land near Las Vegas today are purportedly used for testing of new military equipment. Warning signs indicate the sensitive zone status of the land.
Strategic Geographic Zones
- Japanese aliens, and Japanese-American citizens, were moved during World War II on the basis of the American military position that the U.S. West Coast was a sensitive geographic zone. The relocation of the Japanese was done in an effort to minimize what the military viewed as potential for cooperation with the enemy from the coastal regions of California, Washington and Oregon. Modern strategic geographic zones include the Mexican border and the coastal inlets in the Pacific Northwest, where American enemies may enter from Canada.