A dynamic simulation/optimization model for scheduling restoration of degraded military training lands

Hayri Önal, Philip Woodford, Scott A. Tweddale, James D. Westervelt, Mengye Chen, Sahan T.M. Dissanayake, Gauthier Pitois

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intensive use of military vehicles on Department of Defense training installations causes deterioration in ground surface quality. Degraded lands restrict the scheduled training activities and jeopardize personnel and equipment safety. We present a simulation-optimization approach and develop a discrete dynamic optimization model to determine an optimum land restoration for a given training schedule and availability of financial resources to minimize the adverse effects of training on military lands. The model considers weather forecasts, scheduled maneuver exercises, and unique qualities and importance of the maneuver areas. An application of this approach to Fort Riley, Kansas, shows that: i) starting with natural conditions, the total amount of training damages would increase almost linearly and exceed a quarter of the training area and 228 gullies would be formed (mostly in the intensive training areas) if no restoration is carried out over 10 years; ii) assuming an initial state that resembles the present conditions, sustaining the landscape requires an annual restoration budget of $957 thousand; iii) targeting a uniform distribution of maneuver damages would increase the total damages and adversely affect the overall landscape quality, therefore a selective restoration strategy may be preferred; and iv) a proactive restoration strategy would be optimal where land degradations are repaired before they turn into more severe damages that are more expensive to repair and may pose a higher training risk. The last finding can be used as a rule-of-thumb for land restoration efforts in other installations with similar characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-157
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - Apr 15 2016


  • Land damages
  • Military training
  • Optimization
  • Rehabilitation
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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