Search and Recovery of Munitions by Divers

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Abstract:

Abstract

The trend in the United States is to treat the underwater unexploded ordnance (UXO) problem the same as the land problem. This is fundamentally flawed. Not only must underwater sites be treated differently than land sites, but each underwater site must be treated differently, bringing to bear all possible solutions to develop the best course(s) of action. Although many sites will have similar assets applied to the solution, there will be no cookie-cutter solution. Because of the dynamic nature of the underwater environment, an underwater UXO operation is distinctly unique from a land operation. As the environment is dynamic, so must the solution be. Flexibility in planning and execution of the production operation is a necessity in underwater UXO activities. That fact requires a different type of work force; one trained and encouraged to innovate and keen to be involved in the planning process. The problem facing the underwater ordnance industry is a production problem: achieving production that must be safe, efficient, cost effective, and beneficial. The underwater UXO industry is heavily populated with experts in tactical operations involving defense explosives, i.e., mines, in military operations. That expertise must be balanced with professionals with production experience. This article will compile, analyze, and compare years of successful experience in underwater operations and UXO removal. At the conclusion, readers will have a better understanding of problems encountered throughout the planning and execution of underwater UXO removal actions and subsequent solutions.

Keywords: MEC discarded munitions; UXO; diving; surface supplied; unexploded

Document Type: Technical Note

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4031/MTSJ.45.6.9

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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