Guam – A 500 pounds World War II bomb was found on Naval Magazine a couple of days ago and today the Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit had to execute a render safe procedure. As a safety precaution everyone on Naval Magazine and some residents in a small neighborhood near the front gate had to be evacuated by 3p.m.
“A couple days ago there was a ongoing construction project on Naval Magazine and during the construction a WWII 500 pound bomb was actually discovered so they stopped construction called EOD teams which was convenient because teams are based there on the Naval Magazine they determined it was a WWII bomb and they need to go through a render safe procedure,” said Navy PAO Lt. Matt Knight.
The render safe procedure began at 3 p.m. this afternoon and was slated to last until 6p.m. “From what the EOD guys have told me this ones a little bit different than what typically they would see in the five inch rounds wherein there’s actually two timing devices so they’re actually going to be doing two separate render safes on this which is part of the reason why it’s going to take a little bit longer and we’re asking for a little bit more time. It’s completely within the range of stuff that these EOD guys train for. These guys are extremely good at their jobs these are old munitions and they’ve had a lot of practice on this,” said Lt. Knight.
This render safe procedure means they have to evacuate everyone within a 2,150 foot radius around the bomb which must be evacuated by 3p.m. This includes everyone on the Naval Magazine as well as a few civilian houses in a small neighborhood near the front gate of the Naval Magazine. The residents of this neighborhood are all a part of one family namily the Leon Guerrero family.
Richard Borja has lived here for 11 years and this is the first time he’s had to evacuate due to a render safe procedure. As of this morning however he had not been officially notified of the render safe procedure. “I haven’t actually gotten any personal notification from authorities or anything,” said Borja. The Guam homeland security office of civil defense did notify a family representative but authorities did not go door to door to notify each individual household and somehow Borja’s family didn’t get the message. However, later today authorities did go back down to the neighborhood and did go door to door and Borja says a police officer did talk to him today officially notifying him that he had to evacuate by 3p.m. “Hopefully everything goes well I’m sure and they know what they’re doing and they’ll do a good job of getting that bomb defused or whatever it is they need to do and then we’ll just come back tonight hopefully to a nice area like this just the way it was before I left,” said Borja.
Lt. Matt Knight says that their ultimate priority is the safety and security of their personelle and any civilians that live near the base. He says they worked with Guam Homeland Securit and Civil Defense to ensure that everyone was evacuated prior to the render safe procedure.
READ the release from Naval Base Guam below:
EODMU-5 Det. Marianas Conducts Render Safe Procedure on WWII 500 lb Bomb
SANTA RITA, Guam (Dec. 5, 2013) – Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 Det. Marianas successfully performed a render safe procedure (RSP) at 5:20 p.m. on a World War II era 500-pound bomb found on the Naval Magazine.
Members of Guam Police Department (GPD) and Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense (GHS/OCD) partnered with the Navy to inform the public of the RSP operation, evacuate homes within the safety zone and restrict public access on Route 5 and 12 immediately outside the Naval Magazine gate entrance.
EODMU-5 identified the World War II era UXO as an AN-M64 500 lb bomb which needed to be handled properly before it could be safely transferred out of the area for disposal. On site the team disarmed the bomb through two separate RSP procedures to disable the nose and tail fuzes. As a safety precaution, military and civilian personnel were evacuated outside of a 2150 ft. radius of the UXO.
EODMU-5 Det. Marianas Officer in Charge Lt. Dhruv Parashar encouraged that anyone digging on Guam use caution and if they find something to contact authorities and vacate the area to ensure their safety.
“A lot of World War II unexploded ordnance that we handle is found when a construction crew is digging in an area that no one has been in many years” said Parashar. My advice is if anyone hits something metallic while digging, to take a careful look at what they hit, don’t touch it, and if there is any doubt call 911 and leave the area immediately.”
For more information on EODMU-5 Det. Marianas, visit the command’s website at http://www.eodmu5.navy.mil/.