The activities that are the focus of the EIS take place in the following four areas:
- Potomac River Test Range (PRTR) Complex. The PRTR Complex consists of a 715-acre land test area and a 51-nautical mile- (59-mile-) long water test area that covers 169 square nautical miles (224 square miles) of the lower Potomac River and extends from above NSF Dahlgren to the mouth of the Potomac River. When research, development, test, and evaluation activities (RDT&E) are scheduled, the part of the river range to be used is closed to vessel traffic. The range operations center works with vessel operators to minimize delays by allowing transit during lulls in operations.
- Explosives Experimental Area (EEA) Complex. The 1,641-acre EEA Complex is a land range that supports testing of explosives, propellants, gun ammunition, warheads, and other ordnance components and systems.
- NSWCDD Mission Area. The mission area is a 1,593-acre land area north and west of the PRTR land area used for research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) operations.
- Special-Use Airspace (SUA). Civilian air traffic is restricted in the airspace over a portion of the PRTR Complex and over the EEA complex during test operations to prevent hazards from projectiles or fragments. The maximum altitude above the PRTR is 60,000 feet and above the EEA 7,000 feet. When testing is completed early or a scheduled test is cancelled, the airspace is returned back to the Federal Aviation Administration for normal civilian air traffic use.