Military Affairs

The US military plays an important role in California. It stewards approximately ten percent of California’s land, its operations and personnel contribute billions of dollars to California’s economy, and its’ military bases and airspace provide an integrated network of training assets critical to our national security that cannot be replicated or replaced.

Executive Order S-16-06 established the Governor’s Advisor for Military Affairs within OPR. Under this executive order, OPR coordinates state policies that affect the military, including land use planning, regulatory activities by state agencies, and state legislation. OPR is working to improve communication and encourage collaboration between local governments and the Military on land use planning and development issues in California. The Governor’s Advisor for Military Affairs works closely with all branches of the military on areas of mutual concern and priority. Areas of focus include:

Land Use

OPR works with active military installations and local communities in California to reduce potential land-use conflicts. This function enables appropriate growth, local economic vitality, and public health and safety while safeguarding ongoing military training and military readiness.

Regulatory Activities

OPR and the military work cooperatively to ensure that active military installations are able to comply with state regulations.


OPR and other state agencies actively partner with the military to advance shared energy goals, including the expansion of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects on land managed by the military. The Military is providing important leadership in the national effort to advance clean energy and achieve energy independence. Likewise, California has demonstrated international leadership and innovation in the area of energy policy.

Governor's Military Council

On March 28, 2013, the Governor announced the creation of the Governor’s Military Council. This Council will position California to maintain and grow its military operations in California. The Department of Defense is executing several strategic shifts, including increasing force strength in the Pacific theater and prioritizing cybersecurity, that provide California opportunities to increase military investment in our state. In an effort to protect and expand the military's significant role in California, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. codified the Governor's Military Council in 2015 by signing AB 442 into law and appointed former Congresswoman and Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher as chair.

The Governor's Military Council works to protect California's military installations and operations amid ongoing Department of Defense spending changes and shifts in federal military strategy. The Council helps position California to maintain and grow military operations in the state, providing insight and recommendations to state policy makers. As federal leaders consider cuts and realignment of federal military operations, the Council also articulates the unique military value of California's diverse network of installations, and of the Californians and businesses that support them. The Council also supports the efforts of local and regional organizations to improve partnerships with military installations in their communities.

More information can be found on the Council’s website: 

California Strategic Coordination and Engagement Program

OPR has established a Strategic Coordination and Engagement Program to work with local governments and the Military to support local land use decisions and decision making processes which balance the land use needs of local governments and the military mission in California. This program will develop partnerships and provide tools, staff support, mapping capability, and information to local governments to assist in development, adoption, and implementation of local polices and ordinances.

The primary focus of this program will be areas without bases or installations, but where testing and training occur on a regular basis. The program will provide direct outreach and support to cities and counties to comply with existing statutory mandates to notify the military of potential land use conflicts, and help to develop policies at the local level to ensure the viability and sustainability of active military operations and avoid project-specific conflicts. The program will create collaborative coalitions between the Military, the State, and local governments to meet these objectives.

In addition to early coordination, and notification of proposed new development, OPR will work with the Military and local land use agencies and elected officials to incorporate provisions into city and county General Plans and implementing ordinances to establish project review and permitting procedures that foster land uses that are compatible with military operations. The program will also seek to balance and integrate California’s goals for renewable energy development and natural resources protection with the mission of the military in California and each local government’s specific land use priorities.


Land Use Compatibility

SB 1462 (Kuehl, 2004) requires local governments to notify the military when projects are within military land use areas, or changes to the general plan may affect military land use areas. OPR has provided a memo explaining SB 1462 and the notification process to all affected local governments. The memo is available at: Military Land Use Compatibility Planning Requirements .


OPR developed the California Military Land Use Compatibility Analyst  (CMLUCA), which is a mapping tool that local governments and developers can use to identify whether proposed planning projects are located in the vicinity of military bases, military training areas, or military airspace. This mapping tool helps local governments and developers comply with state law that requires the military to be notified of certain development applications and general plan actions.

Joint Land Use Studies

The Beale Joint Land Use Study(JLUS) and R-2508 JLUS were released in 2008. The overall goal of each JLUS was to reduce potential conflicts while accommodating growth, sustaining the economic health of the respective region, and protecting public health and safety. Active military installations, surrounding counties and cities, and other affected agencies collaborated to produce the studies.

Guidelines and Handbooks

The California Advisory Handbook for Community and Military Compatibility Planning  provides guidance to local governments, the military and developers on how to address local land use needs near military installations, trainings, and other activities. OPR has recently released a 2016 update to the Handbook which is designed to be interactive and user-friendly so that interested parties can easily navigate to areas of interest and key information most applicable to current needs. The update also contains new case studies that highlight best practices between local governments and the Military.

These guidelines are the result of the passage of SB 1468 (Knight, 2002) and SB 1462 (Kuehl, 2004), which outlines the responsibilities of cities and counties regarding the military in the planning and land use decision-making process.

The Community and Military Compatibility Planning, Supplement to the General Plan Guidelines , is intended to assist cities and counties in addressing military compatibility issues when developing, updating or significantly amending their general plans. These guidelines are the result of the passage of SB 1468 (Knight, 2002) and SB 1462 (Kuehl, 2004), which outlines the responsibilities of cities and counties regarding the military in the planning and land use decision-making process.