MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. --
When a backpack containing a potentially dangerous explosive device was handed over to authorities, the Marion County Sherriff’s Department, in Kansas, knew exactly who to call.
The 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal team received the call requesting assistance the afternoon of Aug. 8. After talking with the sheriff’s department and gathering more information, two EOD specialists were on the road with all their equipment headed to Marion County.
“Based on the information from the sheriff’s department about the situation leading to their custody of the munition item, positive identification of the fuse, and its type by function, as well as the item’s history of movement and transfer between multiple individuals, I was able to make a threat assessment of the situation,” said Staff Sgt. James Burnett, 22 CES EOD NCO in charge of supply.
The EOD team determined that the ordnance item was a World War I-era artillery projectile and was safe to handle, but continued with operations to destroy the object by first conducting an X-ray scan.
“The X-ray was used to verify the contents of the casing and identify if any sign of tampering was present due to the nature of the item’s past owner,” said Burnett.
Once the X-ray was completed, Burnett drew a detailed sketch of the item, noting the dimensions and small details, before taking the ordnance to be destroyed.
“The safest action [was] to transport the item to the remote disposal location and render the unserviceable item free of all explosive hazards in the interest of public safety,” he said.
This was the second time in nearly two weeks that the 22 CES responded to a call from Marion County.
“[McConnell’s EOD Team] responds well,” said Marion County Sherriff Robert Craft. “Last time we needed it, you guys responded quickly and efficiently, and I didn’t have to worry anymore.”
The 22 CES EOD team regularly responds to similar calls from authorities throughout Kansas, requesting their expertise in military ordnance and assistance with disposal.