|From:||Lenny Siegel <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Date:||Wed, 01 Nov 1995 09:34:10 -0800 (PST)|
|Subject:||GAO on UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE R & D|
GAO ON UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE The U.S. government currently devotes substantial resources to the development of technologies for the detection, removal, and destruction of unexploded munitions, including landmines, but that effort is not well coordinated. Traditionally, such activity within the Defense Department has focused on methods of breaching minefields during combat, rather than wide area clearance. Today, however, large munitions impact areas at closing and former bases within the U.S. would be available for civilian use if the unexploded ordnance could be cleared in a cost-effective manner. Abroad, huge mine-covered areas are injuring about 30,000 people each year. Addressing such problems require more reliable technologies capable of covering large areas at a lower cost. The General Accounting Office has identified more than 20 different Federal organizations, civilian as well as military, that currently conduct from $75 to $150 million each year on research and development relevant to the detection and clearance of landmines and other unexploded ordnance. But those efforts are uncoordinated, and there is no national strategic plan for furthering such technology. The House National Security Committee has directed the Secretary of Defense "to submit a plan that defines research and development priorities, program management, and cooperative activity with international programs." In response to House Committee and GAO, the Defense Department has agreed to identify an executive agent to serve as the clearinghouse for landmine and UXO research and development. Like other GAO documents, the report, "Unexploded Ordnance: A Coordinated Approach to Detection and Clearance Is Needed" (September, 1995), may be obtained free of charge from GAO by phone at 202/512-6000 or fax at 301/258-4066. The report number is GAO/NSIAD-95-197.
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