Weapons safety is a big deal around here. There are lots of US and coalition military and many of other people who carry firearms at all times. Of course the goal of carrying these weapons on camp is to defend ourselves if needed.
Clearing barrels are placed at the Camp entry control points. They are usually 55 gallon drums filled with sand or small pebbles. Their purpose is to provide a safe direction to point a weapon to ensure weapons are in the safe and unloaded condition prior to going on board the camp. Obviously not everyone understands the steps to make a clear and safe weapon.
There are as many sets of instructions how to safely clear a weapon as their are weapons systems, but for the most part they all have these common steps. It is generally done with a buddy, sentry or leader to supervise the procedure:
Step 1- Point Weapon into the clearing barrel.
Step 2- Ensure the safety is ON.
Step 3- Remove ammunition belt or magazine
Step 4- Open the bolt to inspect and ensure no rounds are in the chamber of the weapon
Step 5- Place weapon on FIRE and fire into the barrel to further prove the weapon is clear.
As you can see the clearing barrel in the photo has two small accessory holes. These customized extra holes are proof that some folks do the 'readers digest version' and take safety off and pull trigger. The other clearing barrel has 5 extra holes in it. Thankfully nobody has been injured so far. I am proud to say that since I have been here I am not aware of any incidents among US military personnel. Nonetheless this is a situation that demands due diligence and attention to detail.