The U.S. Navy maintains and operates testing and training ranges around the world to prepare Sailors to use a variety of weapons systems. These ranges are crucial to national defense because they provide realistic training. Navy ranges include land-based targets throughout the continental United States and overseas territories.
Testing and training on Navy ranges can leave munitions debris on the range after use. If not maintained properly this debris can impact range readiness and efficiency. A buildup of munitions and target debris can also pose unsafe risks to public safety and the environment if not handled properly.
The Navy's Operational Range Clearance (ORC) Program is designed to routinely clear munitions and target debris from the surface of these ranges. Range clearance begins with a visual inspection to sort munitions debris that might pose an explosive hazard from munitions debris that is stable. Specially trained technicians treat the explosive hazard debris on the range. All debris is then processed and ultimately sent off-range for recycling.
- During naval air-to-ground training exercises, targets may get damaged or sometimes destroyed. Pieces will be collected, processed, and ultimately recycled.
- Heavy equipment and qualified technicians are utilized to remove spent munitions and target debris from the Navy training ranges. Clearance actions occur at all Navy land ranges.
- These materials will be processed and recycled.
Before spent munitions can be recycled, they must be verified safe.
- Teams will ensure that the fillers, fuses, and marking signals of the recovered munitions do not pose a safety hazard.
Recovered munitions will have to be certified as safe before processing and recycling efforts.
- In accordance with governing regulations, munitions will be processed to not resemble a bomb prior to being sent to a recycling facility.
- By removing and recycling spent munitions and target debris, the Navy is proactively preventing environmental issues and safeguarding the environment.