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(Photo Credit: David Agan) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Although unexploded ordnance can be found anywhere, it is most likely found in areas currently or formerly used for military training or testing, and Fort Rucker is no exception.

There have been over 7,000 potential UXO reports made at Fort Rucker since October 2000. In 2021, there were 15 potential UXO items reported. Nine of those were confirmed as UXO and their discovery was confined to the range areas, which are clearly marked as off limits to unauthorized personnel.

Everyone is reminded to be aware of manmade objects discovered while enjoying the various outdoor areas on Fort Rucker. For example, a potential UXO was once discovered near the horse stables and reported to range operations. Explosives ordnance disposal personnel responded and determined it was a scrap piece of ordnance, not UXO. In 2012, several munitions were disposed of from the golf course areas. Mother Earth is still pushing our man-made stuff back up to us, so be vigilant out there!

There are many stories where improper handling of UXO, such as war relics or old munitions believed to be safe, have proven deadly. One instance involved teenagers ignoring warning signs and violating range barriers on an Army installation. After recovering some munitions, one of the teens dropped the munition several days later, resulting in an explosion with fatal results.

Most recently, fishermen using magnets in a river on an Army installation pulled ammunition and rockets out of the water. Events like these are why the Army developed the 3Rs program of Recognize, Retreat, Report.

Whenever suspected UXO is discovered, the Fort Rucker Range Operations Division coordinates for proper disposal by EOD experts. In the event anyone encounters (Recognize) suspected UXO on Fort Rucker property, they should back away (Retreat), note the location, and call range operations at 334-255-4303 or dial 911 (Report).

For more UXO awareness information, visit https://denix.osd.mil/uxo/. Awareness materials are available that target every age group from children to adults. If you need assistance or have questions, send an email to the Fort Rucker Garrison Safety Office at usarmy.rucker.usag.list.gso@army.mil.