2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 17 Oct 2002 18:52:57 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] APG working to defuse hidden explosives
APG working to defuse hidden explosives
Test site for improving underground detection
By Lane Harvey Brown
Sun Staff
Originally published October 17, 2002

Aberdeen Proving Ground unveiled a first-of-its-kind test site yesterday
that will help develop better methods to detect unexploded munitions
left after testing - a pervasive and dangerous problem for the
Department of Defense that could cost tens of billions of dollars to
clean up.

The $1.5 million test site, jointly funded by several defense agencies,
will allow the military to work with private companies to find safer,
less expensive methods of differentiating between unexploded ordnance,
UXO, and other metallic objects found underground.

While detection of underground metallic objects has improved
significantly in the past decade, "the problem we have is we can't
discriminate," said Jim Arnold, a divisional chief with the Army
Environmental Center.

When "anomalies," as the underground objects are called, are detected
several feet underground, "we don't know if it's a piece of ordnance or
a ball of wire."

At APG's Lauderick Creek munitions removal site in the Edgewood
area,13,156 anomalies have been excavated - but 169 have been ordnance
or related items, according to base officials.

Private companies will go to the APG site, and to a second site
scheduled to open at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona in the spring, to
try methods such as Global Positioning Systems to search for unexploded

The sites are planted with inert rounds, filled with wax or concrete,
and feature moguls, woods, marshes and other topographical challenges.
Data collected will help develop standard detection methods to use at
different sites, Arnold said.

"I think it can be a good performance measure," said Aimee R. Houghton,
associate director of the Center for Public Environmental Oversight,
adding that unexploded ordnance "is one of the largest environmental
problems the Department of Defense has."

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