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Chapter II


1. Background

a. This chapter addresses the joint force command and control procedures for coordinating use of submunition ordnance and reporting all UXO encountered on the battlefield. As such, it defines the command and staff procedures for planning, reporting, and tracking UXO to minimize risk to joint forces.

b. Ensuring personnel safety and precluding undue constraints on movement of forces and maneuver elements require proper planning and coordination. Although UXO is not a mine, UXO hazards pose problems similar to mines concerning both personnel safety and the movement and maneuver of forces on the battlefield. Coordination and information flow are the integral components that bind the planning, reporting, and tracking. Providing the proper information, at the right time, to the responsible authority is paramount.

2. Staff Responsibilities

Coordination between component commanders and the joint force commander (JFC) may be required before use of submunitions by any delivery means. To ensure UXO does not occur in areas that negatively affect current and projected operations, coordination is conducted and guidance established before the use of submunition ordnance. The following areas identify the minimum responsibilities for joint force UXO procedures. During planning, evaluate the impact of known UXO hazard areas on mission accomplishment from both an offensive and defensive posture. The employment of submunitions must balance with troop safety and mission accomplishment. Table II-1 lists staff and unit primary responsibilities for UXO planning, reporting, and tracking.

a. JFC. The commander addresses specific considerations for employing ICMs/CBUs and their associated UXO hazards when providing intent and planning guidance. The JFC intent provides safety guidance and establishes antifratricide procedures within the joint operations area (JOA).

b. Plans Directorate of a Joint Staff (J-5). During the planning phase, the J-5 incorporates commander's guidance regarding joint force submunition reporting, tracking, and dissemination procedures into operational plans. During the plan formulation, emphasis is on minimizing the impact of UXO. Using the special instructions (SPINS) section of the air tasking order (ATO) and coordinating instructions on the operations plan (OPLAN), components are alerted not to employ submunitions in particular areas or on certain targets because of the UXO danger to personnel or maneuver. The J-5 ensures planning includes adequate safety of personnel and antifratricide procedures. Planning considerations also include terrain management, the impact of potential UXO hazard areas on friendly operations, and any munitions' restrictions. Planning must address proper training and equipping of personnel and units for reducing and clearing UXO hazards.

(1) Other considerations include--

(a) Preplanning, deconflicting, and coordinating with other components.

(b) Impact of residual effects on friendly operations.

  • Planned use of current enemy controlled terrain, including airfields and airstrips.

  • Requirements for dismounted operations. (Security operations--patrolling, reconnaissance, etc.)

  • Requirements for mounted operations only.

  • Availability of engineer and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) support.
  • (c) Impact on terrain management.

    • Friendly troops transiting or occupying the area.

    • Locations of proposed main supply route (MSR).

    • Restricted areas--proposed logistics base sites.

    • Availability of engineers and EOD units.

    (d) Communications requirements.

      • Availability of automation and communications equipment to rapidly disseminate information.

      • Information requirements.

      • Information flow to inform friendly forces of expected UXO locations.

    (e) Risk to noncombatants.

    c. Operations Directorate of a Joint Staff (J-3). The J-3 staff responsibility includes planning and executing the commander's guidance and establishing procedures to ensure subordinate components receive UXO hazard areas information. The J-3, in coordination with the joint force engineer and EOD staffs, establishes joint force reporting requirements and procedures.

    d. Joint Rear Area Coordinator (JRAC). In the joint rear area (JRA), the JRAC plays a significant and critical role in UXO reporting. The JRAC must be part of the coordination and information network dealing with UXO. The JRAC is responsible for creating a secure environment in the JRA to facilitate sustainment, host nation support (HNS), infrastructure development, and joint force movements. The JRAC establishes tracking and dissemination procedures ensuring personnel and units operating in the JRA are knowledgeable of UXO hazards.

    e. Joint Force Engineer Function. The joint force engineer is the principal staff element in the planning, reporting, and tracking of UXO hazard areas. During planning, the engineer element includes UXO as part of the mission analysis and, in coordination with EOD, advises the JFC on task organization and equipment required for clearing and breaching UXO hazards. During operations, the joint force engineer receives and consolidates reports, forwards reports to EOD, and incorporates UXO hazard area information into the engineer obstacle overlay. The engineer overlay is the primary source of UXO hazard areas classified as obstacles or barriers. The engineer staff maintains reports on historical UXO hazard areas while the EOD element maintains information on all UXO hazards.

    f. Joint Force EOD Function. The joint force EOD function provides technical expertise during the mission analysis by assessing hazards and risks from all sources of UXO, including US, allied, and threat munitions. During the conduct of operations, EOD personnel provide technical assistance for marking, breaching, and clearing operations. EOD personnel coordinate with the engineers to obtain information on all known UXO hazards. The EOD function normally maintains UXO historical files that include all unexploded munitions. This historical file provides information for follow-on units and to civil-military units for post-conflict operations.

    g. Units. Unit responsibilities include marking, reporting, and tracking UXO hazards within their assigned AO. Units follow guidance contained in FM 21-16/FMFM 13-8-1, Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Procedures, when required to conduct limited breaching and clearing operations or self-extract to reestablish operations in another location.

    h. Joint Force Air, Land, and Maritime Component Commanders. Reporting requirements established per joint force guidance normally include antifratricide procedures and component reporting architecture and requirements. Component commanders normally establish coordination and reporting procedures with other components. Each component consolidates reports and maintains current and historical records concerning UXO. For example, the land component engineer compiles the obstacle, barrier, and minefield reports while the EOD staffs compile reports tracking all UXO on the battlefield. The joint force air component commander (JFACC) publishes and maintains UXO hazards based on the ATO.

    i. Risk Management. Risk management is the commander's decision. Many factors contribute to this decision; one of which is the impact of submunitions on current and future operations. The current and future operations, level of protection available to the committed force, the type and amount of engineer or EOD support, and time available are factored into the commander's decision. This assessment results in the commander's guidance on types of munitions and areas of employment.

    3. Reporting

    Immediate reporting is essential. UXO hazard areas are lethal and unable to distinguish between friend and foe. Positive control and a rapid and continuous flow of information are necessary. Reactive and predictive reporting are necessary to give the commander the true picture of the hazards.

    a. Land Forces. Land force units send spot reports (Appendix B) relaying information on confirmed UXO locations and reporting locations of previously employed submunition ordnance.

    (1) UXO Spot Report. The UXO Spot Report is the first-echelon report sent when encountering an UXO hazard area. It is a detailed 2-way reporting system that clarifies the UXO hazard area location, identifies clearance priority, and identifies affected units. The report also serves as a request for assistance with an UXO hazard.

    (2) Reported Locations. Land force units report UXO hazard areas according to the JFC's guidance. Once reported, units treat UXO hazard areas as obstacles. As such, UXO information received requires processing, plotting, and disseminating to higher, lower, and adjacent units. The engineer representative converts the UXO obstacle report into obstacle overlays for dissemination to subordinate units.

    b. Air Units. Air units can report submunition ordnance employment through their battle damage assessment (BDA), munitions effectiveness assessment reporting, and correlation with the ATO standard conventional load for each mission tasking. Also, air units can use intelligence reports (INTREPs), in-flight reports (INFLTRPTs), or mission reports (MISREPs) for munitions reporting.

    4. Tracking

    The JFC establishes the required UXO tracking level. Tracking of every submunition ordnance may not be required. The JFC bases the tracking level on the location, amount of potential UXO, or other criteria. The J-3, coordinating with the Intelligence Directorate of the joint staff (J-2) and component commanders' headquarters, tracks UXO hazard area information. The J-3 should maintain a historical database that includes type, quantity of ordnance dropped or observed, location, and date dropped or observed, of possible and known UXO hazard areas. Components update this database as required (frequency of update, ordnance type, and amount) by the JFC or J-3. The J-3 disseminates UXO information affecting maneuver, movement, and protection of land forces. Primary means of dissemination is by obstacle overlay. Alternate methods include providing location (aim point), delivery system, type and quantity of ordnance.

    5. Operations

    a. When setting up operational bases or work sites, units must consider the UXO threat. Hard surface roads are the best evacuation routes and easiest to clear. Units develop clearance plan procedures to reconnoiter and mark clear paths to other unit positions and to the nearest hard surfaced road or clear area. Extraction procedures resemble in-stride breach or clearing operations.

    b. Combat units that have the assets to conduct an in-stride breach can do so. Their breach reduces the hazard and allows follow-on forces to continue in the original direction of the march. CS and CSS units must rely on alternate routes or breached lanes. After discovery of an UXO hazard, units take immediate actions to alert personnel, locate the submunition or scatterable mines, and provide protection for personnel and equipment. When dealing with an UXO hazard the following tactical factors should be assessed:

    (1) Effects of the delay on the mission.

    (2) Threat from direct and indirect fire. The risk of casualties from direct or indirect fire may be greater than that from the submunitions or scatterable mines.

    (3) Terrain. The terrain determines the effectiveness of submunitions or scatterable mines, their visibility, and, consequently, their ability to be detected, avoided, or neutralized.

    (4) Alternate routes or positions available.

    (5) Degree of protection available.

    (6) Specialized support, such as EOD or engineer teams and equipment available.

    c. After assessing the situation, three main options are available--

    (1) Accept the risk of casualties and continue with the assigned mission.

    (2) Employ tactical breaching procedures and extract to alternate routes or positions.

    (3) Employ preplanned alternate tactical plans according to the current OPORD.

    d. Units bypass UXO hazard areas if possible. When bypassing is not feasible, units must try to neutralize the submunitions and scatterable mines that prevent movement. There is no single device or technique that will neutralize every submunition or scatterable mine in every situation. The differences in fusing, selfneutralization, terrain, and unit mission mean that multiple techniques must be considered. The following extraction techniques should be considered in the order listed:

    (1) Perform area reconnaissance and mark a cleared route.

    (2) Use engineer equipment to remove or neutralize items.

    (3) Destroy items using explosive charges.

    (4) Destroy items using direct-fire weapons.

    (5) Contain the item by building barricades.

    (6) Move UXO out of the way remotely.


    Employing breaching techniques on ordnance other than submunitions or scatterable mines is not recommended. The amount of explosives involved would create more of a hazard to your operations than the UXO itself.


    Before employing breaching techniques, make sure that none of the items contain chemical or biological agents.

    e. Using engineer equipment is the preferred method of breaching small submunitions and scatterable mines. This procedure allows for the quickest clearance of an evacuation route. Suitable equipment includes a bulldozer, combat engineer vehicle, and an armored combat engineer earthmover. If an unarmored vehicle is used (such as a bulldozer), the operator's cab requires protection against fragmentation. Three major disadvantages to heavy force breaching are--

    (1) Equipment may be damaged or operators injured. If either happens, extraction through the area will be hampered.

    (2) Equipment may only partially clear the area, requiring further clearance procedures.

    (3) Equipment may bury some submunitions or scatterable mines, keeping them from being detected while using the evacuation route.

    f. Mine-clearing Line Charge (MICLIC). The MICLIC is a rocket-propelled explosive line charge used to reduce minefield containing single-impulse, pressure-activated antitank (AT) mines and mechanically activated antipersonnel (APERS) mines. The MICLIC will explosively clear a path through an area. Several MICLICs may be required in the same area to ensure that a wide enough path is cleared. It has limited effectiveness against magnetically activated mines, including scatterable mines and those containing multiple-impulse or delay-time fuses. Three major disadvantages to using MICLICs are-

    (1) The explosive charges may not be close enough to the submunition or scatterable mine to cause destruction. This can result in "kick outs" where submunitions or scatterable mines are thrown away from the detonation, possibly towards your position.

    (2) Further reconnaissance of the area is required prior to using the route for evacuation in order to detect those submunitions or scatterable mines that are still in place after using MICLIC.

    (3) MICLIC cannot be used if detonation of the submunitions or scatterable mines will cause unacceptable damage.

    g. Hand-placed Explosive Charges. This is the most effective way to clear an evacuation route. Explosive charges should be placed to counter charge the main charge. Four major disadvantages to using handplaced charges are--

    (1) They are very labor intensive to use and expose personnel to greater risk, especially if the submunitions use magnetic, delay, or trip-wire fusing.

    (2) Their use is very slow and time consuming, because all must be detected, marked, and destroyed individually.

    (3) They cannot be used if detonation of the submunitions or scatterable mines will cause unacceptable damage to the operational area and/or equipment.

    (4) They should not be used in heavy concentrations of submunitions or scatterable mines. The detonations will cause "kick-outs."

    h. Direct-fire Weapons. Submunitions and scatterable mines can be destroyed or neutralized by the use of direct-fire service weapons. The goal of this procedure is to produce a disabling reaction that rapidly reduces or eliminates the designed fuse functioning of the submunition or scatterable mine. Service weapons such as the 5.56 millimeter, the 7.62 millimeter, the .50 caliber, and the 25 millimeter should produce the desired effect. Three major disadvantages to direct-fire destruction are--

    (1) It is very slow and time consuming. Each item must be individually located, and each person can only engage one target at a time.

    (2) Some submunitions are too small to engage effectively with direct-fire weapons from a distance of 25 meters.

    (3) The terrain has a major effect on this procedure. Because submunitions and scatterable mines are so small, it does not take very much vegetation or loose dirt to hide them.

    i. Containment. By using engineer equipment, one or two items can be contained by building barricades or by placing loose fill dirt on top of them. This procedure is recommended for use only where equipment must be recovered and no other procedure is acceptable. Major disadvantages to containment are--

    (1) Placing fill dirt on top of the UXO may cause a detonation that could damage the equipment or injure the operator.

    (2) Building barricades is time and personnel intensive.

    j. Remote Movement. If the submunition or scatterable mine must be moved, it must be moved remotely using grapnel hooks, rope, or some other suitable material. Three major disadvantages to remote movement are--

    (1) Movement of the item can cause detonation.

    (2) Personnel must approach the item in order to attach necessary materials.

    (3) The UXO will be pulled toward the person moving it.

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