- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The U.S. Army wants its soldiers to go a different kind of green — environmentally green.

Military officials have reached out to contractors via the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program in the hopes of attaining “biodegradable training ammunition loaded with specialized seeds to grow environmentally beneficial plants that eliminate ammunition debris and contaminants.”

The Pentagon says its current training rounds take hundreds of years to biodegrade and cause problems for civilians such as farmers and construction crews.

“Proving grounds and battle grounds have no clear way of finding and eliminating these training projectiles, cartridge cases and sabot petals, especially those that are buried several feet in the ground,” the SBIR request reads in part. “Some of these rounds might have the potential corrode and pollute the soil and nearby water.

The solution sought by this topic is naturally occurring biodegradable material to replace the current training round materials, eliminating environmental hazards.”

Some of the training rounds the Army seeks to replace with biodegradable alternatives include 40mm grenades; 60mm, 81mm, and 120mm mortars; shoulder launched munitions; 120mm tank rounds; and 155mm artillery rounds, PC Mag first reported Tuesday

Potential contractors have until Feb. 8, 2017, to contact Defense Department officials with their completed application.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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