Military authorities are in continuing competition with agricultural interests in an effort to extend the land available for military bases, weapons testing grounds and training areas. In the USA in 1990 military training areas occupied 25 million acres and efforts were being made to extend this by a further 6 million acres in 16 states. In the UK facilities for military war games exclude the public unfairly from vast areas of national parkland, although the exact amount is unknown.
Modern aircraft need approximately 50 miles in which to turn and require longer bomb runs and more room to practice dogfights than in earlier combat situations which governed the choice of existing training areas. Modern firepower enables a battalion to defend ten times as much ground as those of the 1940s, thus requiring more room to train and engage in realistic manoeuvres with other battalions.