Unexploded Ordnance

Thursday August 18, 2011

What is it?

Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) are munitions that have been primed, fuzed, armed, or otherwise prepared for action; have been fired, dropped or placed in such a manner as to constitute a hazard; and remain unexploded either by malfunction, design, or other causes. All munitions encountered are considered as UXO until DoD Explosives Ordnance Disposal or state or federal bomb squad personnel determine otherwise. UXO may be found in areas where the military conducts or has conducted live-fire training or testing, or combat operations (e.g., operational ranges, former ranges, some of which are now private or public property and battlefields). Because munitions, including UXO, are collected as souvenirs, they may be found anywhere.

What has the Army done?

The Army established a Safety Education Program to inform Soldiers and the public of the dangers associated with munitions and what to do should they suspect they have encountered one. The 3Rs Program teaches Soldiers, families and the public to protect themselves:
Recognize - When they may have encountered a munition and that munitions are dangerous.
Retreat - Do not touch, move or disturb it, but carefully leave the area.
Report - Report what they saw and where they saw it to their chain of command, if in combat, or local law enforcement.

Education alone cannot address all explosive hazards remaining on properties where DOD once used munitions. DOD established the Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP.) The Army's MMRP addresses properties known or suspected to contain UXO, discarded military munitions or munitions constituents (e.g., explosives, metals) from munitions-related activities conducted on active installations and installations closing under the Base Realignment and Closure Act. The Army is DoD's executive agent for DoD's formerly Used Defense Site Program. The Army also conducts range clearance activities on operational ranges to ensure their continued safe use for training and testing needed to maintain a trained and ready Force.

What does the Army plan for the future?

The Army is continuously improving its 3Rs Program. It continues to sustain its operational ranges to ensure their continued use, and cleanup properties on which it once conducted munitions-related activities to help ensure the property's safe use.

Why is this important to the Army?

Soldiers who have handled UXO or other munitions during training or deployments have died, suffered serious injury or caused injury to or the death of other Soldiers, family members, or members of their communities. Members of the public, including children, have suffered the same fate by handling munitions encountered or kept as souvenirs. The Army's actions protect its Soldiers, families and the public it serves.

Resources:

3Rs Explosives Safety Education Program
UXO Center of Excellence
Military Munitions Response Program

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