Fort Bliss, Texas, recently completed a major cleanup of unexploded ordnance (UXO) from a closed firing range belonging to the installation.
The 7,080-acre Castner Firing Range was "way out of town" in 1926 when Fort Bliss began to use it for live fire training. By 1966, however, the town of El Paso had grown so close that the Army ceased live fire training there.
Today, Castner Range is full of wild beauty: mountains, wildlife, wildflowers and hidden springs. Despite large bilingual signs warning of the dangers on the old range, articles in local papers and patrols by the Fort Bliss Military Police, people continue to be tempted onto the property.
The U.S. Army Environmental Center provided approximately $2 million to clear unexploded ordnance (UXO) from the former Castner Range under the Military Munitions Response Program. The cleanup project lasted over eight months, beginning in June 2003. The Army cleared approximately 1,200 acres of UXO from the most trespassed areas of the range. More than 380 live UXO were found and destroyed, along with 167 practice rounds.
Fort Bliss Installation Restoration Program
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