The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health's (ODASA (ESOH)), with the support of U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville (USAESCH) and in conjunction with USACE Albuquerque District, is conducting the first phase of implementation of the 3Rs (Recognize, Retreat, Report) Explosives Safety Education Program at active Army installations. This is a follow-on to a 3Rs programmatic study ODASA (ESOH) completed in 2013.

The Army established 3Rs education in the year 2000 following an incident in which teens removed munitions from an operational range resulting in a fatality and a serious injury. Development of the 3Rs Program focuses on key demographics (e.g., children, particularly boys) and behaviors (e.g., moving or disturbing munitions) that may lead to death or serious injury. The 3Rs Program aims to reduce risks from munitions and explosives by educating the community about how to safely respond to encounters with munitions. In 2013, ODASA (ESOH) assessed the effectiveness of the 3Rs education in changing behaviors and identified a number of opportunities for improvement. The assessment found that the targeted 3Rs educational program is an effective risk management tool, as it influences behavior.

The goal of Phase I is to engage four installations and establish full implementation of a self-sustaining 3Rs education program at each installation. The program provides education, training, and available resources needed to educate individuals on the hazards of munitions and explosives and it supports Interim Risk Management (IRM) requirements when munitions are likely to remain at an installation due to ongoing use or restoration schedules. One of the measures selected to improve the reach of the 3Rs Program is a significant overhaul of the 3Rs website to make it mobile friendly and more interactive. Therefore, the website will be promoted as a valuable and readily available 3Rs resource.

In August 2014, the Phase I effort began with USA Environmental, Inc. along with team members CALIBRE Systems and GSL Solutions (the team). The team is currently working on the website with the improved website launching in the next few months. The site reinforces the 3Rs message and branding in a centralized fashion. In addition to the website, the team completed fact finding visits to Ft. Bragg, White Sands Missile Range, Ft. Bliss and Camp Shelby and identified a number of typical obstacles to be overcome in order to tailor site specific materials to meet the needs of each of the installations and gain buy-in to the program. The team quickly adapted its efforts to these changes and immediately implemented lessons learned to improve the 3Rs Program.

An interim progress review (IPR) of the website redesign and findings from the initial fact-finding visits was presented to ODASA (ESOH) in May 2015. The interim review presentation demonstrated success in gaining installation support for the 3Rs Program and presented solutions to challenges that would likely arise as the program expands to additional installations. IPR recommendations for program sustainment were discussed.

The next part of the Phase I program is to conduct presentations for small and large audiences during scheduled events at each installation. For mission sustainment, the team will provide instruction and guidance to offices and individuals who will provide ongoing 3Rs education for their installation. Throughout Phase I of this effort and into the future, ODASA (ESOH) will continue to communicate with the installations on the status of the 3Rs Program and share lessons learned.