FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (May 28, 2015) -- An enhanced performance bullet has fired-up the need for paying special attention to Fort Leonard Wood Range Operations' safety rules.

According to Jeffrey Cornuet, Range Operations supervisor, the new round is the M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round for the M4 and M16 rifles.

"This round causes new safety requirements that have been addressed Army wide for the ranges. The changes here at Fort Leonard Wood are minimal, but important, because they affect every range and anyone training on or near the ranges," Cornuet said.

The 5.56 mm ball ammunition is an enhanced performance round for today's combat and training environments and suitable for use in most weapons with a 1-in-7 barrel twist.

The M855A1 has a copper-jacketed steel core, differing from the previous M855 round, which has a lead core.

"Increased ricochet area is the main concern. The ricochet area crosses the administrative area on some ranges, creating the need for berms to be constructed to mitigate the hazard. The ricochet area also crosses the down-range area on most ranges, limiting access for maintenance," said Keith Campbell, Range Operations officer.

"Anyone needing to access the down-range area for any reason cannot do so until receiving permission from Range Operations," Campbell added.

This rule goes for anyone, specifically visitors accessing the Range Complex, whether it is for recreational purposes, contracted work or anything other than scheduled training.

"Anyone conducting work in the complex must first receive a unexploded ordnance brief from us (Range Operations) prior to starting the work. We are finding more and more personnel who are just driving out to the training areas for different reasons, and this places them in potential danger," Cornuet said.

According to Campbell, there are two ways for recreational users to sign into a range or training area.

There is a website at www.wood.army.mil/dptm/handf.htm or visitors can sign in at the Range Operations Fire Desk.

"Personnel using the privately owned weapons ranges must first sign in at the Range Operations Fire Desk. No one should ever enter a range or training area without signing in with Range Operations first," Campbell said.

"All of the rules are important. Most of them are in place for safety, others are in place to protect natural resources, endangered species and our historical sites, all of which are found on Fort Leonard Wood," he added.

For more information, call 573.596.0131, ext. 64943, stop by Range Operations, Building 5260 on Iowa Avenue, or email usarmy.leonardwood.imcom-central.other.flwrangeops@mail.mil.