EODMU5 Det. Marianas diffuses World War II-era projectile on NBG
Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 Det. Marianas disposed of an unexploded ordnance (UXO) found in Sumay on U.S Naval Base Guam (NBG) Sept. 15.
“Construction workers unearthed the UXO during their operations,” said Lt. Brent Wadsworth EODMU 5 Det. Marianas officer in charge.
The UXO was identified as a World War II-era, 5-inch projectile which had a sensitive MK-18 mechanical time fuse. This required Sailors to perform render safe procedures (RSP) before removal to a safe disposal site was possible.
The EOD technicians worked with NBG Security and U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam to safely evacuate manned buildings and waterways in the area and close off traffic prior to performing the RSP.
“Anytime EOD procedures are being performed, there is always the potential for the projectile to detonate as a result,” Wadsworth said. “There was a bomb in Burma that killed 10 people a month ago, the same kind of bomb we find here on Guam.”
Wadsworth said even though these bombs are 60-70 years old they still work and can cause damage unto the point of fatality.
Once all the safety precautions were in place and the waterways, roads, boats and buildings were evacuated, the team executed the EOD RSP.
Following proper RSP, the Sailors used a bullet modified to shoot a 2.5-inch slug at the firing mechanism of the 5-inch round. The slug destroyed the firing mechanism, rendering the round safe to transport to the EOD detonation range where it was destroyed.
“It is very important to get rid of these explosives that are left from (World War II),” said Capt. John Mendiola, of NBG Fire and Emergency Services. “We have a lot of exploding ammunition and explosives that are found on and off base by contractors or locals and that is why it is important to allow EOD disarm the explosives for the safety of our children and community.”
Wadsworth advised base and island residents who come across UXOs to immediately contact the proper authorities and not to touch the device.
“These (World War II) rounds are still highly dangerous,” Wadsworth said. “Anytime anyone comes across a round, do not touch it. The best action is to take note of the location then call 911 or base security immediately so we can dispose of the round properly.”
EODMU 5 Det. Marianas is a forward-deployed mobile command providing EOD detachments and a fly-away recompression chamber detachment to the 7th Fleet. Their primary mission is to enable access for carrier and expeditionary strike groups, mine countermeasures operations and special operations forces. The secondary missions include supporting U.S. Secret Service and the command’s naval operations sponsor in the testing and development of acquisition programs and their associated techniques and procedures.
To learn more about NBG, visit www.cnic.navy.mil/guam.
For more news from U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas, visit www.navy.mil/local/guam/.