As a result of past military training and weapons testing activities, military munitions exist on sites designated for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) on Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) and other closed ranges on active installations. The sizes of these sites range from a few acres to tens of thousands of acres. These sites occur in open deserts, farmland, forests, and mountain ranges. Geology and vegetation can be simple and benign or complex and difficult. Munitions ranging in size from 20-mm projectiles to 2000-pound bombs can be distributed on the surface or buried at these sites showing no visible evidence of their presence.

Many active and former military installations have ranges and training areas that include adjacent water environments such as ponds, lakes, rivers, estuaries, and coastal ocean areas. In other places, training and testing areas were deliberately situated in water environments. In addition, disposal and accidents have generated munitions contamination in the coastal and inland waters throughout the United States. The underwater environment both restricts access and significantly impacts the performance of established and emerging characterization technologies.

SERDP and ESTCP have been funding research and demonstrations to better detect, classify, and remediate UXO on land and in the underwater environment since 1995.

UXO in the Underwater Environment

Many properties of the underwater environment interfere with the detection, characterization, and recovery of military munitions. Except at very shallow sites, munitions underwater are difficult to access. Conditions interfere with the ability of sensors to detect and characterize them and remediation is more difficult. Learn More...

UXO on Land

The Munitions Response focus area developed and demonstrated advanced sensors, signal processing methodologies, platforms, supporting technologies, and remediation technologies to address the diverse challenges associated with the cleanup of munitions-impacted land sites and continues to be open to new opportunities in this area. Learn More...

Munitions Constituents

SERDP and ESTCP investments are addressing the sustainability of Department of Defense (DoD) testing and training ranges through studies centered on identifying and characterizing contamination sources, as well as understanding the fate and transport of both legacy and new insensitive munitions constituents. Projects have built on this scientific basis to develop and demonstrate technologies that allow for continued operations while preventing migration of contaminants to groundwater. Learn More...