The Maine Army National Guard operates the Federally-owned Auburn Training Site, which is located entirely within the City of Auburn. The site encompasses 154 acres, including three parcels, ranging from four to seven acres that are leased from private landowners to the Maine Army National Guard. Tenants include an Organizational Maintenance Shop (OMS) for a Combat Engineer battalion and a Unit Training Equipment Site (UTES). The site has a total training density of 207 days over the past three years. Training activities include: small arms training (zero, familiarization, and qualification), small unit tactics, Chem/Bio defense, land navigation, individual combat skills, heavy equipment maintenance, and combat engineer operations at the squad, platoon and company level. Combat Engineer units frequently train on heavy earthmoving equipment at the site.
The Army nominated the Auburn Training Site as a candidate for the Joint Land Use Study program in May 2011. Increased residential growth near the installation's eastern boundary could have a negative impact on installation training utility. As higher density residential growth moves closer to the installation boundaries, community health and safety issues will arise, potentially leading to military training restrictions. The area along the installation’s western boundary is zoned for agricultural use, but there is increasing pressure to change the zoning to allow small business commercial development.
The City of Auburn will serve as the JLUS project sponsor with participation from the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments and adjacent communities. Two goals of the JLUS are to protect the health, safety, and welfare of citizens living near the Auburn Training Site and to protect the operational and training mission of the base. The JLUS planning process will inform the installation staff on inclusion of the installation in the Army’s Compatible Use Buffer program and include recommendations for regulatory and non-regulatory policies that promote compatible development around the Training Site.