FUDS Project Manager

3 R's of Unexploded Ordanances

A Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) is property that was formerly owned/leased/ possessed by, or operated by, or under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense within the 50 states, territories, commonwealths, and possessions over which the U. S. has jurisdiction. Projects at FUDS are subject to policy and eligibility rules.

In Arkansas, 82 sites have been investigated to detemine whether environmental or safety hazards remain from Department of Defense occupancy. No hazards were found at the majority of the sites; however, underground storage tanks, unexploded ordnance, or Hazardous, Toxic and Radioactive Waste (HTRW) remained at some of the sites.

Former Camp Chaffee Area 4 North Munitions Response Site

The former Camp Chaffee is located southeast of Fort Smith and south of the town of Barling in Sebastian and Logan Counties, Arkansas. Construction of the camp began in 1941 at the site of a Civil War training camp. During World War II, several Armored Combat Divisions trained at the camp, using 67 training areas and 153 artillery and mortar positions.

After World War II, Camp Chaffee was place on inactive standby status. Area 4 North was declared surplus by 1949, with a Certificate of Clearance noting that there were "no signs of any military activity within the area." 

While no munitions or explosives of concern have been recovered during remedial activities since the early 1980s, and the area is considered safe, there is still a risk of potential munitions debris that may become exposed through erosion or encountered in the ground during construction activities.  

USACE will continue to communicate with the public to inform them of these risks and educated them on procedures to avoid and report munitions debris if it is recovered. Additionally, USACE will review these response actions every 5 years to ensure safety and public health.

Download the Camp Chaffee Educational Awareness Presentation - May 2022 (7.7 MB)

Southwestern Proving Grounds

Located North of Hope, Arkansas, the 50,078-acre Southwestern Proving Ground was used by the U.S. Army between 1942 and 1945 to test small arms ammunition, 20 to 155 mm projectiles, mortars, rockets, grenades, and up to 500-pound bombs. The proving ground was closed shortly after World War II and ordnance was cleared from the surface of the land. The land was then conveyed to state, municipal and private owners. Since the clearance after World War II, munitions and explosives of concern have surfaced. The ordnance could be explosive and dangerous despite being more than 50 years old. Seven civilian deaths occurred immediatly following the war from two incidents. However, past reports of around 26 fatalities have not been confirmed.

More than 8,111 ordnance items have been removed from private property to date. In addition, educational displays and programs have been implemented to inform the public of the risk and to encourage appropriate behavior to minimize risk. Because of the proving ground's large area and the widespread occurrence of ordnance, the risk cannot be completely eliminated. Additional munitions and explosives of concern could be found in the future.

Former Camp Robinson Property

Camp Pike was established in 1917. Shortly before World War II, the name was changed to Camp Joseph T. Robinson and the camp's boundaries were expanded to include land in Pulaski and Faulkner counties. The camp was used for the basic training of troops. A variety of weapons training occurred including rifles, pistols, machine guns, live grenades, mortars and various field artillery.

After the war, Camp Robinson was declared surplus and broken up. Most of it was transferred to the Arkansas National Guard. Some went to the city of North Little Rock and Central Baptist College. A small portion was retained by the federal government for use as an Army Reserve Center, now designated as Camp Pike. The remainder was sold to private owners.

The portions that are no longer owned by the military or the National Guard are eligible for environmental investigation and cleanup assistance under the Formerly Used Defense Sites program. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the agency responsible for conducting environmental restoration work under the FUDS program.