Fort McCoy News November 14, 2014

Hunters asked to watch for, report UXO while afield

During Wisconsin's gun-deer season Nov. 22–30, hundreds of hunters will take to the field in designated areas on Fort McCoy. While out, officials ask hunters to be watchful for any unexploded ordnance (UXO) they may encounter.

UXO results from the military use of munitions during live-fire training or testing, said Range Safety Officer Brad Vieth of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security Range Management Branch. Artillery and mortar rounds are the most-common types of UXO encountered at Fort McCoy.

Photo for UXO article
Unexploded ordnance, like this item found on a Fort McCoy range, should be reported immediately. Contributed photo

Several instances of UXO were discovered in past years, Vieth said. And, although ordnance usually appears near current or former training areas, it could be found anywhere at Fort McCoy.

UXO should be treated as if it has the potential to explode and could cause serious injury. Anyone who encounters UXO should remember the three "Rs" of explosive safety — recognize, retreat and report.

Recognize — Recognizing the situation means first realizing an unidentified object could be dangerous. "People should consider any munitions or suspect munitions they encounter to be UXO and extremely dangerous," Vieth said.

Retreat — 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, Vieth said.

Report — Reporting requires immediately notifying authorities and describing as much as possible regarding the environment and location that the UXO was discovered. Military units training at Fort McCoy that encounter UXO should follow the procedures outlined in Fort McCoy Regulation 350-1.

Units that find UXO are required to report it immediately. The unit should report the UXO by calling the Fort McCoy Range Operations Fire Desk at 608-388-4848. Vieth said the reporting person must furnish grid coordinates, number of UXO, type if known, a description, and how it's marked.

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

"Hunters may encounter UXO, and if they do, they should contact the police — no matter their location — with the information," said Don Vender of the Installation Safety Office (ISO).

Anyone who encounters a marked or guarded location with UXO at Fort McCoy should avoid the site, Vieth said. 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, or by calling 608-388-4320.

The Fort McCoy ISO also has brochures about UXO.

(Prepared by the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office, DPTMS Range Management Branch, and the Installation Safety Office.)