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Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment)

Explosives Safety Management Program (ESMP)


Expose the minimum number of people to the minimum quantity of explosives for the minimum amount of time.

Program Drivers

The Army’s Explosives Safety Management Program is primarily implemented by Army Regulation (AR) 385-10, Army Safety Program and DA Pam 385-64, Ammunition and Explosives Safety Standards.

Policy Principles
  • Provide the maximum possible protection to people and property from potentially damaging effects of military munitions (explosive and chemical).
  • Enhance readiness and mission capability by providing for ESM considerations throughout the military munitions life-cycle.
  • Implement and maintain a comprehensive and effective ESM program.
  • Give precedence to ESM principles and requirements that provide for immediate protection of people and property, while complying with applicable environmental regulations.
  • Use quantitative risk-based explosives safety assessment tools and criteria as decision-making aids.
  • Prohibit disposal, by burying or dumping, of military munitions on land or in water except when specifically authorized (e.g., in-situ capping as part of an approved munitions response or other activities necessary to ensure safety).
  • Implement alternative technologies for disposal of waste military munitions where viable.
  • Conduct munitions response actions on real property known or suspected to contain unexploded ordnance, discarded military munitions, or munitions constituents in accordance with applicable laws and regulations using the best available and most appropriate technology, with the goal of making the property safe for current or reasonably anticipated future use.

The Army continues to seek improvements and address challenges with its management of munitions and explosives. On the enterprise level, this is primarily accomplished through operation of the Army’s Munitions and Explosives Safety Management Council (MESMC). The MESMC includes representatives from all Headquarters, Department of the Army develops and manages corrective actions to address ESMP weaknesses identified by the DoD Explosives Safety Board (DDESB) and internal Army evaluations throughout the munitions life-cycle.