The U.S. Navy Public Works Center (PWC) Environmental Department, San Diego, California, is home to the Navy West Coast Site Characterization and Analysis Penetrometer System (SCAPS). SCAPS has been extensively used at several Navy sites since 1995 to provide real-time, high-density data sets. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Triad approach provided an ideal framework for optimizing the use of the Navy SCAPS during a volatile organic compound (VOC) source investigation at Installation Restoration Site 1114 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. All three elements of Triad—systematic planning, dynamic work strategy, and use of real-time measurement tools—were implemented to manage decision uncertainty and expedite the site management process. The investigation was conducted using the Navy SCAPS, outfitted with a cone penetrometer, membrane interface probe, and a direct sampling ion trap mass spectrometry detector, which allowed for real-time collection of over 690 feet of continuous lithologic information and VOC concentration data. These data were used collaboratively with 24-hour turnaround US EPA 8260B VOC groundwater results from temporary direct-push wells to support the conclusion of a limited source area. Implementation of the Triad approach for this investigation provided an expedited high-density data set and a refined conceptual site model (CSM) in real time that resulted in cost savings estimated at $2.5M and reduction of the site characterization and cleanup schedule by approximately three years. This project demonstrates how the US EPA's Triad approach can be applied to streamline the site characterization and cleanup process while appropriately managing decision uncertainty in support of defensible site decisions. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Reprinted from Remediation Volume 15, Number 1.