BOOM: EOD supporting Wichita
By Staff Sgt. Ronald C. Lafosse II, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 13, 2007
MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Some people don't know the 22nd Civil Engineering Squadron, Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, serves as the primary response agency for all military ordnance reported in Wichita.
"Due to the Posse Comitatus Act, we can not perform any 'law-enforcement' activities on non-federal property, but we, military EOD, are responsible for rendering safe all military ordnance regardless of where they are found," said 1st Lt. George Haka, 22nd CES EOD commander.
"Local law-enforcement can request military EOD's assistance at any time, but it is up to the discretion of the wing commander and EOD commander if we will respond to situations not involving military ordnance," he said. "However, support to local law-enforcement is rarely turned down."
For example, McConnell's EOD responded to the Kansas Museum of Military History, Nov. 19, to find an 82mm Mortar M82 on site with an unknown status.
"If a federal agency requests our support, we are required to help, but military EOD will coordinate with other EOD units, not just in the Air Force, but in all different services, to find the unit that is best equipped to handle the situation," Lieutenant Haka said.
When explosive ordnance is discovered, first evacuate the immediate area and dial 911.
Wichita's bomb unit will respond to the scene and determine if McConnell's EOD needs to report to the scene. If necessary, local law-enforcement will contact the command post, and they will contact the wing commander, mission support group commander and EOD.
Once EOD has a go-ahead, they will depart McConnell and go to the site of the explosive ordnance.
Military EOD units are trained in how to render safe military ordnance while preserving life and property. Through technical training, on-the-job training, publications specific to each piece of ordnance both domestic and foreign, and training on how to utilize the publications to find the safest method to defeat the hazards of explosive ordnance.
In fiscal 2007, McConnell's EOD responded to 14 off-base incidents totaling 295 man hours.
So far in fiscal 2008, McConnell's EOD has responded to three off-base incidents totaling 35 and a half man hours.