Time Critical Removal Action (TCRA), Culebra Island, Puerto Rico

Advanced Geophysical Classification Using a MetalMapper 2×2

HGL completed a munitions response TCRA at the Flamenco Beach and Campground on Culebra Island, Puerto Rico. Flamenco Beach, which has been rated as one of the Top 10 beaches in the world, was also a munitions response site open to the public. HGL coordinated intrusive activities with local beach/campground authorities and employed AGC techniques to reduce the effect of the TCRA on the tourist-reliant local economy. MetalMapper 2×2 and TEMTADS 2×2 advanced sensors were used for dynamic and cued AGC data collection. By using AGC to positively identify targets of interest in situ, fewer anomalies had to be dug and exclusions zones could be reduced or adjusted based on the munition expected to be encountered. Analog clearance followed by DGM was conducted in areas too anomaly dense for AGC.

Progress on the TCRA was affected by a series of hurricanes. HGL coordinated an emergency evacuation of site personnel in advance of Hurricane Irma, which was followed closely by Hurricane Maria. HGL coordinated remobilization to Culebra in a challenging post-hurricane environment. HGL had to find solutions for working in a cash-only economy and for managing travel logistics, acquiring viable lodging, and obtaining materials in a location where communications were limited to satellite phones and sporadic email access. HGL remobilized within 45 days of the hurricanes, resuming work on the project and providing a needed stimulus to the economy during a period of suspended tourism activity.

Project Highlights
Completed AGC- and DGM-based MEC clearance at Flamenco Campground.
Recovered and disposed of over 71,500 pounds of MDAS and 31 MEC items including 100- and 500-pound bombs, 3- and 5-inch projectiles, 81mm and 3-inch mortars, and 2.75- and 5-inch rockets.
Performed daily biological monitoring for threatened and endangered species, including turtles and a variety of plants, throughout fieldwork.
Expended over 49,000 labor hours with zero lost workday accidents or reportable injuries.