Fort McCoy News October 25, 2013

UXO should be avoided, treated with caution

Unexploded ordnance (UXO) continues to be discovered at Fort McCoy and should be avoided and treated with caution, said post safety officials.

UXO results from the military use of munitions during live-fire training or testing, said Brad Vieth, Range Safety officer. The most-common types of UXO encountered at Fort McCoy are artillery and mortar rounds, he said. If the UXO explodes, it could cause serious injuries.

Several instances of UXO were discovered in 2012, Vieth said. One was found near a range, and the other was discovered during a construction project on South Post. Although ordnance usually appears near current or former training areas, UXO may be found anywhere at Fort McCoy.

Vieth said anyone who encounters UXO should treat it as if has the potential to explode.

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

"We also have a UXO plan in place to identify and clean up potential danger areas," Vieth said.

Randy Eddy, Fort McCoy Safety manager, said the best defense against UXO is to be vigilant, report it if you see it, and practice the three R's of explosive safety — recognize, retreat and report.

All UXO should be considered extremely dangerous. Eddy said anyone who believes they have encountered UXO should not touch, move or disturb it, and should immediately and carefully leave the area following the same path on which they entered the area. If possible, the area should be marked to warn others of potential danger.

"UXO is designed to explode and still has the capability to do so," Eddy said. "Never touch, move or disturb munitions."

UXO may be accidentally or unintentionally 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.

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 Maintenance Branch Fire Desk at 608-388-4848. Units that find UXO are required to report it immediately. Vieth said the reporting person must furnish grid coordinates, number of UXO, type if known, a description, and how it's marked.

All others who encounter or see UXO at the installation should call the Fort McCoy Public Safety Center at 608-388-2000 and report what they saw, where they saw it and if they were able to mark the area.

"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 (Public Safety Center), no matter their location, with the information."

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

In the Fort McCoy community, UXO information is available on the Range Branch section of the Extranet, which is available through the public website http://www.mccoy.army.mil/AboutUs/trainhere.asp or by calling 608-388-4320. The Fort McCoy ISO also has brochures about UXO.

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.