Site History & Risk

Over the past month our Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) engineers have been providing UXO Search & Clear support on a solar panel installation project situated on undeveloped land in Massachusetts, U.S.A.

In August, an 81mm Mortar was found (please see example below) on-site during initial forestry and vegetation clearance works, prompting the developer to contact 1st Line Defence to check the rest of the project for similar items of UXO.

81mm Mortar of American origin

It is probable that the item landed on the site in the 1970’s/80’s, originating from a nearby military base. Anecdotal evidence from the client indicated that similar items have been found in this area of Massachusetts, and it is considered likely that such items are related to military training activities and live firing practice in the immediate area – before this land had been released for public use.

Risk Mitigation Recommendations & Procedure

Due to the nature of the risk, the site terrain and challenging groundcover, a UXO Search and Clear operation was recommended.

Our team of UXO Specialists systematically cleared an area of 5.6 hectares using specialist Magnetometer detectors over a three week period.

Each area was first inspected to make sure that all immediately identifiable surface scrap was removed to reduce spurious signals on the search instruments, and to make sure no items of ordnance were present on the top soil.

Project Outcome

All areas were surveyed and any suspicious ferrous items were inspected. Fortunately, no additional items of UXO were discovered within the area of interest.

Our client can now proceed with the project knowing that the UXO risk has been reduced –­ in line with ALARP principles.

Looking for UXO Risk Mitigation Services?

If you encounter a suspicious item on your project, the most important thing is not to touch it – move everyone away from the area and contact a UXO Specialist like ourselves or call the Police immediately for assistance.

1st Line Defence provide a wide range of UXO Services, if you would like more information or some general advice – contact us on +44 (0) 1992 245020 or

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