Andersen SFS K-9 unit and EOD flight join with local first responders in bomb threat incident
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- When an incident occurs off-base, Andersen security forces and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal flight are sometimes called to assist local responders to mitigate issues. Community members and Airmen worked together Jan. 14th, 2016, to respond to a bomb threat at a local high school here in Guam.
Earlier this week, local authorities received reports of a bomb threat against Simon Sanchez High School. With this information, local police and military members from the 36th Security Forces Squadron K-9 unit and 36th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD flight, at the request of local law enforcement, supported efforts with K-9 sweeps and EOD checks.
“We were able to work with the local responders to properly plan for a possible threat,” said Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Tolliver, 36th Security Forces K-9 unit kennel master. “The airport police, FBI and Guam Police Department were among the units that we worked with.”
Teams assembled at the school early morning with the 36th SFS dog handlers and Guam police performing vehicle checks and building sweeps. When an airport police K-9 was alerted by an unusual smell, the building and surrounding area was immediately evacuated and EOD personnel entered to search the area.
“As soon as the K-9 units alerted us that there may be something inside the building, we cleared the area and began our process,” said Senior Airman Brandon Preston, 36th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD. “We went to the suspected area and cleared it. Thankfully it was a false alarm and the important thing is we were able to deem the school safe again.”
Military and local community members have a strong partnership and train together to prepare for a variety of scenarios, whether responding to a real-world situation or working together in a training environment. Both K-9 units from the airport and Andersen train together once a month to ensure the working dogs are exposed to various environments.
“We perform training quite often with the airport police to ensure the K-9s are constantly being introduced to new smells,” Toliver said. “They allow us to train our K-9s at the airport, which enables our dogs to work around the civilian planes and sniff out substances. We also train together on-base to conduct various training activities. It’s great being able to work alongside our partners.”
With the constant joint training and communication maintained between Team Andersen and local responders, the relationship with the community continues to build on a daily basis.
“We all have the same background in law enforcement, so we are all on the same page when it comes to responding to possible incidents,” Toliver said. “When a situation arises, they know they can rely on us and vice versa.”