MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif --
In 2000, the Combat Center established a Range Residue Processing Center for maintenance activities in order to sustain the base training ranges at a reasonable cost.
For safety reasons and liability issues, the range residue personnel regularly perform range maintenance and range clearance operations.
“The base generates a sizable stream of range residue or ‘scrap’ consisting of spent munitions, small-arm casings, large practice projectiles, inert practice bombs, target remnants, tires, wooden pallets, scrap steel and other operational material,” said Jim Sanderson, the Combat Center Safety Manager and former Senior Unexploded Ordnance Supervisor. “It is not acceptable to allow this residue to accumulate indefinitely on the ranges or allow gleaned residue containing material posing a potential explosive hazard to leave the base without being certified.”
The RRPC personnel are qualified to ensure all materials from ranges are certified as free of energetic material.
They have developed a full-time systematic range clearance to increase the MPPEH processing capabilities.
“To aid in the certification process, the RRPC has numerous pieces of major equipment that can mechanically process the MPPEH to a level of 100 percent certified to be free of energetic materials,” said Sanderson. “The major equipment includes light steel shredder for ammunition cans and propellant canisters, ordnance deformer and hammer mill shredder, an aluminum melting furnace for all aluminum related MPPEH, a mobile hydraulic shear for concrete, with fill bombs, steel targets and alligator shear for the large steel projectiles.”
In fiscal year 2007, the Range Clearance Sweep Team cleared 707,432 pounds of range residue from the training areas. Training units turned in 2,864,860 pounds of range residue to the RRPC, and 2,260,485 pounds of range residue was turned over to the Qualified Recycling Program for sale.
“The Range Residue Processing Section and Range Clearance Sweep Teams serve as a benchmark for the Marine Corps in working toward viable range management and sustainability,” said Sanderson.
The QRP is in charge of receiving the range residue and selling it through contractors. The materials the QRP sells benefits the Combat Center by keeping the ranges clean and keeping the units training.
“I am responsible for the recycling and collection activities done at the Combat Center,” said Susan Corney, the QRP manager. “I am responsible for selling the material generated by range sustainment.”
Wood, a large commodity sold by the QRP is sold by contract. Recently, a large wood pile was processed by a contractor and over 2,200 tons of wood was sold to a co-generation plant in Mecca, Calif.
The QRP is looking to become a Cash Redemption Value Center for the state of California. Becoming a CRV center will give base personnel the opportunity to turn in their recyclables with a CRV rebate.
“The benefit to the recycling center is that we will be able to get the salvage value,” said Corney. “It will benefit all involved.”