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September 09, 2011

Safety

UXO: Recognize, retreat, report

Anyone who encounters unexploded ordnance (UXO) at Fort McCoy is advised to stay clear of it and, above all, not attempt to handle or to move it, said Larry Levasseur, Fort McCoy Range Safety officer.

UXO results from the military use of munitions during live-fire training or testing, Levasseur said. The most common types of UXO encountered at Fort McCoy are artillery and mortar rounds, he said.
PHOTO: A view of AT4 (136mm) unexploded ordnance by Range Branch personnel on a Fort McCoy range. Contributed photo
A view of AT4 (136mm) unexploded ordnance by Range Branch personnel on a Fort McCoy range. (Contributed photo)

Although UXO is found mostly in former impact areas adjacent to the Badger Drop Zone and sometimes at mortar points, it can be encountered anywhere on the installation, Levasseur said. UXO may be moved from its original site by a variety of methods, which could include people or troops moving it, construction projects moving or unearthing it, etc.

“The best advice is to treat all UXO as if it’s potentially dangerous and remember and practice the three R’s — recognize, retreat and report — for UXO,” Levasseur said. “The public should consider any munitions or suspect munitions it encounters to be UXO and extremely dangerous.”

UXO found in the cantonment area at Fort McCoy should be reported to the Directorate of Emergency Services by calling 608-388-2000.

Military units training at Fort McCoy encountering UXO in a training area should follow the procedures outlined in Fort McCoy Regulation 350-1. The unit should report the UXO by calling the Fort McCoy Range Branch Office at 608-388-4848.

Units that find duds are required to report these immediately. Levasseur said the reporting person must furnish grid coordinates, number of duds, type if known, a description, and how it’s marked.

“The UXO we come across seems to be items that have been in place for years and worked to the surface, especially in the spring when the ground is soft,” he said. “Hunters may encounter UXO, and if they do they should contact the Range Branch with the location.”

Anyone who encounters a marked or guarded location with UXO at Fort McCoy is advised to avoid the site. People who encounter UXO off post are advised to call the local law-enforcement office.

Levasseur said Fort McCoy coordinates UXO removal with a Madison Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) organization or, if unavailable, with a Fort Campbell, Ky., EOD unit.

“We have a UXO plan in place to identify and clean up potential danger areas,” Levasseur said. “Although ordnance is color-coded during manufacturing for identification purposes, this marking can be altered or removed by the weather or exposure to the environment so it can’t be relied upon.”

Levasseur said he is available to speak to or meet with groups or individuals about the latest UXO information.

In the Fort McCoy community, UXO information is available on the Range Branch Section of the Extranet, which is available through the public website www.mccoy.army.mil or by calling 608-388-4320.

More information about UXO is available at the websites www.denix.osd.mil/uxo/index.cfm or https://safety.army.mil/groundsafety/SAFETYPROGRAMS/ExplosivesSafety/tabid/519/Default.aspx.

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