The Department of Defense is focusing a $175 million research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) investment effort to rid the world of unexploded ordnance (UXO) through a new office tasked to foster the exchange of technical information and speed the process of clearing the millions of UXO hazards around the globe.
In May 1997, the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology outlined a plan to improve the effectiveness and economy of UXO clearance RDT&E and created the Unexploded Ordnance Center of Excellence (UXOCOE). The UXOCOE is developing and implementing an overarching strategy that coordinates requirements and technology in the detection and clearance of UXO (including land mines) within the Department, as well as with other U.S. and international agencies, academia and industry. The center is building a cooperative multinational effort to share expertise, data and test sites; build and maintain a UXO detection and clearance database; standardize target UXO (including land mines); and establish benchmarks, metrics, milestones and deliverables. On Oct. 1, the Department established the Joint UXO Coordination Office (JUXOCO), the operational arm of the UXO Center of Excellence. The JUXOCO is collocated with the Night Vision Electronic Sensors Directorate at Ft. Belvoir, Va.
The Department of Defense is committed to improve the effectiveness and economy of UXO clearance RDT&E throughout five DoD mission areas: Active Range Clearance (the clearance of UXO on active ranges); Countermine (the detection and breaching of minefields in combat); Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) (the neutralization of UXO, usually under emergency conditions); Humanitarian De-mining (the removal of residual UXO from areas of regional conflict); and UXO Environmental Remediation (the detection and removal of UXO on active and closing DoD sites).