EOD Clears the Way for a Visit to Historic Fort Sill Landmark

Fort Sill, Oklahoma U.S. Army EOD technicians from the 761st Ordnance Company carried out a two-day mission to clear a path through 145 UXO on an artillery range to a historic building. The operation allowed 40 senior leaders from the Fires Center of Excellence to safely visit the blockhouse, built in the 1800s when Fort Sill was a frontier outpost and home to the "Buffalo Soldiers" of the 10th Cavalry Regiment.

The blockhouse was constructed for use as an observation point and as a weather and signaling station. "Blockhouse has been used as a reference point to locate and fire on targets," said Capt. Matthew J. Piranian, the commander of the 761st EOD Company. "Just about every artilleryman in the Army uses the Blockhouse as a reference point during their training at Fort Sill, making it a famous landmark."


EOD Respond to Dangerously Damaged UXO on UK Beach

Hengistbury Head, United Kingdom The Coastguard team at Southbourne was called to Hengistbury Head following reports of possible ordnance found on the beach. EOD was also requested to respond after confirmation that the item was indeed UXO.

A Coastguard spokesperson said, "Once on scene we located the first informant and got 'eyes on' of the possible ordnance. Once we had established it was a WWII 2-lb shell, we set up a secure area and created a suitable cordon of the area. We then awaited the arrival of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team from the Royal Logistic Corp of the Army."

EOD deemed the shell too damaged to transport, so they safely detonated it on the beach. Following the incident, the Coastguard team issued a public announcement urging members of the local community to notify authorities if they spot anything they suspect to be ordnance or pyrotechnics on the beach.

EOD Delivers Spectacular 'Wall of Fire' at Air Show

Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina Air shows presented by the US military are popular and awe-inspiring, but sometimes the excitement rises to a new level when the show includes an impressive pyrotechnic display known as the "wall of fire."

A recent show at MCAS Cherry Point offered viewers just that. This "wall of fire," orchestrated by highly-skilled EOD technicians, was around 1,000 ft long and several hundred ft tall.

The demonstration, typically the finale event of a show by aerial teams like the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds, is designed to mimic an aircraft dropping bombs on the airfield.


The Mystery of the Misplaced Munitions

Camp Pendleton, California The Marine Corps is investigating how several artillery projectiles wound up in an area close to the barracks. On October 19, Camp Pendleton officials received two separate reports of ordnance spotted within the 43 Area of the base, according to a Marine Corps spokesperson. Emergency services and EOD responded to the area, known as Las Pulgas, and discovered one 155mm projectile. The area secured and guarded until EOD was able to conduct a controlled detonation on the item to dispose of the hazard 2 days later.

"At approximately 12:10 p.m. on Thursday, October 21, EOD personnel safely destroyed the [unexploded ordnance]," said Capt. David Mancilla, a base spokesman. No additional information was provided about how the round ended up there.


EOD Responds To Smoke Grenade Found on Beach

Totland, United Kingdom A team for the Royal Navy EOD unit from Portsmouth were called to respond to ordnance on the beach. The item was initially found by a civilian walking on the beach who notified local police. An exclusion area was setup around the area and guarded overnight until EOD could arrive the next day.


International EOD Exercise 'Ardent Defender' Kicks Off

Ontario, Canada Ardent Defender, the annual exercise held at various bases across Canada since its inception in 2012, kicked off this month with military EOD and civilian counterparts from the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, South Korea, Australia, Colombia, Mexico, and Ecuador.

The Army 192nd EOD Battalion deployed soldiers from the Fort Drum, New York-based 754th and 760th EOD Companies, and the Fort Belvoir, Virginia-based 55th EOD Company to support the exercises which run for five weeks providing the opportunity for the soldiers to train with military and law enforcement personnel from 11 partner nations.


Canadian EOD Divers Clear WWII UXO from Sunken Vessels

Conception Bay, Canada


Army Museum Makes an Unusual UXO Discover Amid Artifacts

Fort Belvoir, Virgina The 55th Ordnance Company (EOD) has received calls from museums before, but they are usually to verify that Civil War relics such as cannonballs or WWII shells are inert and safe to display. Recently, however, Staff Sgt. Robert Torbush received a different type of "UXO" call when he was alerted by Fort Belvoir Fire and Emergency Services about an explosive threat found in the Army Museum Support Center, which works with the new Museum of the U.S. Army located on the installation.

"The call was initially reported to me as a vial of picric acid, which is a sensitive explosive that, when dried, becomes quite unstable," Torbush said. The fire department cleared the building, and Torbush entered using a bomb suit. What he found was a WWI-era amber glass jar with gauze inside, soaked in an acid which was used to treat burns at that time.

"When it sits for that long, it has a tendency to form unstable salts," Torbush said. "That made it hazardous to even open the jar, and it was determined that the best course of action was to move it to a safe area. We didn't want to load it into a vehicle, because those explosive salts can be very sensitive."


Property Owners Struggling With Damage From UXO Response

Exeter, United Kingdom in a follow up to an article we posted back in February regarding the controlled detonation of a 1,000 kg German WWII era bomb discovered during construction on a private lot west of the University of Exeter, property owners are reportedly still dealing with the aftermath including damage to houses and vehicles.

Approximately 2,600 properties were evacuated, including 1,400 students from university as an UK Army EOD team conducted a disposal operation on the bomb that was deemed too hazardous to move. Despite hundreds of tons of sand and a special structure being built to contain the blast, many buildings nearby were badly damaged as shrapnel was sent flying into nearby homes. Many residents and buildings on the university sustained damage including some buildings with major structural damage.

Residents frustrated over the damage including who was responsible for covering the costs turned to Mr. Ben Bradshaw, a member of parliament (MP) who represents the people of Exeter. Specifically, the property owners were trying to sort out conflicting information on whether liability for damage was the responsibility of the property developer, the Defence Department, the Home Office*, or individual insurance companies.

Mr. Bradshaw began his inquires by writing letters to the Secretary of State for Defence and the Home Secretary. The letters stated in part, "The Secretary of State for Defence initially told me that he believed liabilities from the incident might fall to the developer of the site. The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) briefing that I have been sent states that 'liability for damage caused by EOD intervention typically falls to the Home Office'. However, residents whose properties and vehicles have been damaged have been instructed to approach their insurance companies." The letter went on to state, "It has emerged that some residents have been told by their insurers to contact the Home Office instead."


EOD Heritage Museum Coming Soon

Funds are now being raised to support the creation of an EOD Heritage Museum. The museum will be located on the property of the Air Force Armament Museum, Eglin AFB, Florida. The museum will be in a newly built Quonset style building that offers 2,000 square feet of space to tell the amazing story of Explosive Ordnance Disposal. The museum will be open to the public with access outside of Eglin AFB.

The unique story of EOD dates back to its inception in 1941 to the present. There will be static displays, interactive storyboards and artifacts.

For many years, the conversation about having a historical museum that captures our history has been a topic discussed at various gatherings. Now the dream is ready to become a reality, but support is needed.

The building maintenance/upkeep are a donation, but the interior set up and design will come with a cost. Creators are truly looking forward to creating a place where they can tell the story of EOD in a personal way through a variety of display cases that hold artifacts, interactive holograms with headsets and more.


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