Formerly Used Defense Sites

Former Sahuarita Air Force Range (SAFR)

Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) Project No. J09AZ057601, J09AZ057602 & J09AZ057603

Location

Occupies approximately 27,000 acres within the county of Pima, Arizona. The site is bordered by the town of Sahuarita and the Santa Cruz River to the west; the city of Tucson boundary to the north; and the Santa Rita Mountains to the east and south | View Map >

Approximately 10,500 acres are found within three Range Complex Munitions Response Sites (MRSs), with the remaining acreage located outside of the current boundaries of the MRSs on property owned by state and local government agencies, private commercial and industrial businesses, and private residents.

The main investigation areas associated with the SAFR FUDS include:

  • Range Complex No. 1 MRS: Approximately 1,391 acres located in the northern portion of the former SAFR FUDS. The MRS is comprised of Bombing Target No. 1, Bombing Target No. 4, and Air-to-Ground Range No. 1.
  • Range Complex No. 2 MRS: Approximately 7,929 acres located in the central portion of the former SAFR FUDS. The MRS is comprised of the ground-to-air unpiloted (O) radio-controlled (Q) flying target range (the OQ Range) and Air-to-Ground Gunnery Range 2.
  • Range Complex No. 3 MRS: Approximately 1,247 acres located in the southeastern portion of the former SAFR FUDS. The MRS includes Bombing Target No. 2 and Bombing Target No. 3.

Contaminants of Concern

Include munitions and explosives of concern and associated munitions constituents. Contaminants of concern at the site may change as new data become available.

Public Health Impact

Military munition and unexploded ordinance debris may pose an explosive hazard. Discovery of these materials should be reported to the local law enforcement authorities and left untouched.

Action Taken

The United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) completed an Inventory Project Report in 1994 which documented the FUDS Program eligibility for Sahuarita Air Force Ranges. USACE also identified an initial property boundary at this time.

In 1996, the findings of a historical records and photos review and site visit were compiled in an Archives Search Report. Munitions and munitions debris from general purpose and practice bombs of various sizes, projectiles, and small arms ammunition were identified as potential concerns.

In 2004, USACE evaluated the available information and identified seven ranges within the FUDS. These ranges were grouped into three MRSs.

In 2007, USACE finalized the Site Inspection Report. The inspection included taking soil samples and evaluating the SAFR FUDS to identify evidence of former military use, such as munitions/munitions debris. USACE determined that a Remedial Investigation was required for the site. The Remedial Investigation is ongoing.

Status

The USACE is in the Remedial Investigation (RI) phase to determine the nature and extent of contamination and the Feasibility Study (FS) phase of evaluating the remedial options for the FUDS. The RI/FS phase has been ongoing since 2017 and projected to be completed by the end of 2022. The next phase in the process will be a Proposed Plan explaining the clean-up option selected from the FS which will be made available by the USACE for public review and comment.