DoD Recovered Chemical Warfare Material (RCWM) Program


Buried Chemical Warfare Materiel


DoDD 5101.17E, Roles and Responsibilities Associated with the Recovery of Chemical Warfare Material, dated 11 May 2016, assigns the Secretary of the Army (SA) as DoDโ€™s Executive Agent (EA) for the Recovered Chemical Warfare Materiel (RCWM) Program. The SA, in turn, delegated the EA responsibilities to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy, and Environment (ASA(IE&E)). The Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health fulfils these responsibilities on the ASA(IE&E)โ€™s behalf.

DoDโ€™s RCWM Program maintains a critical DoD capability (i.e., the RCWM Program Support Functions), providing a wide range of support to the DoD Defense Environmental Restoration Program as DoD seeks to address locations known or suspected to contain chemical warfare materiel (CWM).

The RCWM Program also supports explosives or munitions emergency responses when a munition with an unknown liquid fill is encountered in the public domain, as determined by the responding Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit. Additionally, on a cost-reimbursable basis, the RCWM Program provides the RCWM Program Support Functions to other DoD programs, and, subject to DoD approval, Combatant Commands and the Department of State.


The DoD RCWM Program mission is to achieve, through application of rigorous project management principles and efficient use of RCWM Program resources, a comprehensive, coordinated, effective, and protective enterprise-based approach to conduct response actions (cleanup) at CWM sites within the United States.