Fort Bragg speaks out about ammunition

February 19, 2008 10:24:24 PM PST
In Raleigh, the city council wants to make sure live ammunition does not end up at scrap metal yards again.

City leaders are investigating the incident at Raleigh Metals Processors. They want to know if standards for materials accepted at scrap yards should be reviewed and if employees should be forced to undergo training.

There is still a question as to where that ammunition came from. Army commanders will not say if it came from Fort Bragg, but on Tuesday Eyewitness News learned that there is a way for civilians to get on part of the post and it is not considered a security breach.

Each year Fort Bragg troops fire off hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition and bombs. All of it in three huge impact areas.

Cleaning up impact areas and disposing of all the ordnance is done the Army says, by licensed and trained civilian contractors.

"The contractor only hires through Army regulations people who have past army experience dealing with EOD," Fort Bragg spokesperson, Tom McCollum said.

Bragg officials admit they have a problem with people going into the impact areas looking for souvenirs to salvage.

The public roads go past drop zones and remote training areas. There are dirt roads with no trespassing signs and fire trials that can lead to impact zones.

"We have had a number of people go onto the post illegally and collect everything from mock-ups, to trying to collect parachutes, to going in and collecting pine straw," McCollum said.

Officials say they have caught some illegal collectors and charged them with trespassing, but say there is no way to constantly police 30,000 acres.

"What we do have is a number of warning signs, bi-lingual warning signs letting people know that you don't want to go into areas and we do everything feasible to try and stop them. But again if someone wants to break the law, they are going to find a way to break the law," McCollum said.


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