|Range Design and Management for Sustainable Live Fire Training Ranges |
|Applied Vehicle Technology|
Environmental Contamination, medium and large calibre ranges, Mitigation and remediation measures, Range Sustainment, Risk Assessment, Small
The work conducted by former NATO AVT-197 technical group allowed a clear understanding of range contamination, fate and transport of toxic material resulting from live-fire training (STO Technical Report TR-AVT-197). AVT-197 was followed by a Specialists’ Meeting on Range Contamination, AVT-244, with over 15 Nations represented (STO Meeting Proceedings MP-AVT-244). Segments of the Technical Report were demonstrated through two CDTs in the UK, in October 2016 and 2018 (AVT-249) and has also evolved to be incorporated into a NATO STANAG under AVT-ST-007. This highlights the high interest from all nations and the pertinence to sustain live-fire training ranges. Range contamination has led to groundwater contamination in several countries, resulting in some cases in the loss of ranges, severe restrictions in range use, large monetary penalties, and significant clean-up costs. Moreover, many nations have already published guidance values or thresholds for munition’s residues, both in surface soils and water bodies. In order to avoid potential problems, the next logical step is the implementation of mitigation methods or permanent solutions to reduce and prevent environmental contamination of ranges. AVT-291 addressed solutions to improve range sustainability. The SM meeting will build on AVT-291 and will bring together ranges stakeholders and experts in the field to present, discuss and allow information exchange on better range design, remediation, maintenance and management to keep NATO operational ranges opened and available for training.
The primary objective of the SM will be to exchange information and discuss current practices and research on the topics of military training range design and management to minimize environmental impacts. The information gained on range design and mitigation solutions developed by each country within AVT-291 will be shared with the audience. Some additional knowledge will be also gained in the RSM and the whole knowledge will be collated in a set of technical guidelines for range design and management. Some countries have already initiated the development of various solutions such as filter technology, treatment ponds, phytoremediation, and development of new range designs that mitigate the negative impacts of the training on the environment. This information will be disseminated to the audience. Discussions will take place amongst the participating countries to evaluate and improve these new range designs presented or proposed by members of the group. The pooling of member nations’ knowledge will save time and money as our efforts can be leveraged against each other. A Cooperative Demonstration of Technology might evolve from the RSM if deemed relevant.
1. The respective challenges and current practices that have been implemented to prevent or mitigate the negative impacts from live-fire training on various types of training ranges (Small arms, medium and heavy weapons calibre ranges, demolition ranges).
2. Innovative solutions currently being considered through research and development to mitigate negative impacts on training ranges on which energetic compounds or heavy metals will be used.
3. Prevention and mitigation of noise and contaminant migration off training ranges.
4. Risk assessment and monitoring.
5. Software, mapping, and models that can be used to track munitions use, composition, life-cycle costs, and environmental management systems on ranges.
6. New munitions and their requirements will be considered.