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Ground safety: award of distinction.

TSgt Dunn's awareness of stringent new range safety requirements and his safety-conscious attitude has led to the identification of major safety violations in the current range configuration. Using an Operational Risk Management checklist, he identified several extremely high-risk hazards. Sgt Dunn found that with an earthen backstop and overhead baffles angled at 90 degrees, rounds were escaping the range facility. The Surface Danger Zone of where these rounds impacted extended beyond Ellsworth property and the Vertical Danger Zone (VDZ) had not been identified. Working with airfield management, he plotted the VDZ to ensure that aircraft were made aware of the hazard. Further inspection identified problems in the flooring and overhead containment material. The use of pea gravel on the range floor collected lead dust and created uncontrollable ricochets, while rounds penetrated the overhead baffles. Sgt Dunn counted over 50 holes that left the range at less that a 45-degree angle. Working closely with ACC, he secured $2.2M for range renovation. His experience resulted in creation of a benchmark for ACC's firing ranges. He offered an innovative design solution which incorporated the use of low-angle overhead baffles, concrete floors, wing wall baffles and a bullet trap system. The use of wing walls facilitates air circulation so students are not subjected to high levels of lead dust. The low-angle overhead baffles and concrete floors ensure stray rounds are safely deflected into a bullet trap which contains all rounds fired down range. His strong awareness of environmental concerns helped him create a suitability standard for commercial bullet traps. The requirements he set called for a bullet trap with a single collection point for all hazardous waste, and the conversion of all bullet traps using a vacuum system which sends lead dust into the air, to a "wet system." A wet system creates a wall of water down the bullet traps, limiting the amount of lead dust created and released into the atmosphere. These upgrades have eliminated all Operational Risk Management hazards, ensuring over 3,700 active duty, ROTC, and local law enforcement personnel have an environmentally safe facility to perform vital weapons training.

TSgt Robert D. Dunn, 28th Security Forces Sqdn., 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota
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Title Annotation:Monthly Award Winners
Author:Dunn, Robert D.
Publication:Combat Edge
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2004
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