The Army established 3Rs (Recognize, Retreat, Report) Explosives Safety Education Program (3Rs Program) in 2000 following an incident in which teens removed munitions from an operational range resulting in a fatality and a serious injury. In recognition of an underserved existing and emerging need, the USA team’s 3Rs Program supports the 1 August 2012 memorandum from DASA-ESOH. That memo, in part, “directs active and reserve Army Installations within the United States to implement a 3Rs Program to advise soldiers and their families who live or work on an installation, as well as employees and visitors, of the actions to take in the event they encounter, or suspect they have encountered, a munitions item.”

From 2014 – 2016, under a contract with USACE Albuquerque District, USA performed services associated with the Army’s 3Rs program. The effort was focused on two primary objectives: revamping the existing 3Rs program website and providing 3Rs Explosives Safety Education services as a pilot program to the following five installations:

  • Ft. Bliss, Texas
  • Camp Shelby, Mississippi
  • Ft. Riley, Kansas
  • White Sands, New Mexico
  • Ft. Bragg, North Carolina

The goal of the Pilot Program was to identify and train installation personnel who would, in turn, educate individuals on the hazards of munitions and explosives and to provide necessary interim risk management. The USA team trained, provided site-specific materials to, and mentored nearly 40 individuals at each facility who then became 3Rs instructors. These instructors conducted live training to many children and adult audiences. The USA team developed a tailored approach at each installation based on historical munitions usage, prior incidents, and potential risk of contact.

USA and its teaming partners also revamped and organized the existing 3Rs Program website, 3Rs.mil. The new content includes briefing material for contractors performing intrusive operations on the installations, programs for children attending installation schools, and organizations designed to reach hunters and first responders. USA provided a final briefing to the Pentagon which included lessons learned and the approach to Army-wide implementation of the improved 3Rs Program.

From 2009 – 2012, USA performed 3Rs Explosives Safety education for the USACE South Atlantic Division (SAD) in the vicinity of Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.

This work involved presenting 3Rs Explosives Safety education to local school children at 43 schools within a 20-mile radius of the sites. Materials were also distributed to local libraries.

Training was also provided at public meetings to 27 community organizations including:

  • Police/Fire/Medical Emergency Response Personnel
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • County Clerk’s and Sheriff’s Office
  • Emergency Management Agencies
  • School Boards
  • County Public Works Offices
  • Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
  • Tennessee Forestry Association
  • Construction Companies

The programs developed included different presentations for younger elementary/middle school age children and one for high school students and adults. We presented site-specific slides, with pictures, of UXO likely to be found nearby. After the presentations, students took part in a question-and-answer session to demonstrate their understanding of the program. The programs were well-received by students, teachers, emergency workers and members of the community.

As a complement to the USACE UXO Safety Mascot, Sgt. Woof, USA created a new cartoon character, Roxie, and developed a hub page with two educational websites including interactive games, an interactive e-book, and a video for students. All of these exciting 3Rs resources can be found on the revamped DENIX UXO website at 3Rs.mil.

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