Tuesday, September 17, 2013



Tennessee company clear munitions and debris from Goldwater Range
September 15, 2013 10:31 PM

In what was a two-year project for the U.S. Navy, Sterling Global Operations recently finished clearing 5.9 million pounds of munitions, target debris and other range-related items from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma's Barry M. Goldwater Firing Range.

During the project, the Tennessee-based company identified and safely removed MK-80 series bombs, tanks, projectiles, Bomb Dummy Units (BDUs), CONNEX storage containers and other large vehicles from nearly 900 acres, transporting it all to a holding area designated by the Yuma Range Management Department.

All recyclable materials were inspected using Sterling Global's five-step process, certified as safe and then transported to local recycling centers. As many as 28 of the company's employees were involved in the project at a single time.

William Brown, Sterling Global project manager, said the successful completion of the project enables the range's managers to operate a safer range, more effectively plan range operations and evaluate data on the performance of various types of ordnance.

"Ranges have to be cleared periodically so they can continue to be used for training," Brown said. "This work can be quite dangerous, but the professionalism and attention to detail by everyone involved resulted in no accidents or injuries."

The Goldwater Range is roughly 20 miles wide by 120 miles long, extending from Yuma to approximately 25 miles east of Gila Bend and from Interstate 8 south to the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and the U.S./Mexican border. It encompasses about 1.7 million acres of withdrawn public land and Department of Defense-owned land.

In a cost-savings move, Sterling Global also returned the proceeds from the recycled materials back into the Navy range clearance project.

"The resale of recycled materials lowered the project costs significantly to taxpayers," Brown said.

The government assessment rating of Sterling Global's work said the company "provided an exceptional level of service by safely completing all range clearance work elements within schedule while minimizing range down time and training conflicts … All phases of work were well coordinated and the final deliverable met and/or exceeded the expectations of the Marine Corps customer."

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