By Ms. Alexandra Shea (IMCOM)April 18, 2019
On training installations like Fort Jackson, it is commonplace to see Soldiers using training aid and live weapon systems. But what happens when you find these things Soldiers use?
"Don't touch it, don't move it," said Deputy Director of Emergency Services Raymond Smith. "Call 911."
This recently happened on Fort Jackson. A couple of school-aged children found what appeared to be unexploded ordinance outside of the installation's training areas.
A call was placed to 911 and services were dispatched, including an Explosive Ordinance Disposal team, the subject matter experts on potential explosive devices. The immediate area was closed to all non-essential personnel and the device was examined and disposed of. The item, a hand grenade, was already rendered inert, meaning the explosive elements were already removed. The found UXO appeared to be a decoration.
"Contractors destroying building have found a couple of inert Improvised Explosive Device training aids," Smith said.
Smith stressed that finding actual live UXO doesn't happen often outside of training areas and that most items that are found end up being training aids and suspicious packages, such as forgotten backpacks.
If someone finds any potential UXO, they are encouraged to back away and remember the location the item was found. Call 911 and follow the dispatcher's directions. The response time for emergency services is between five and seven minutes, Smith said.
"Unless it's a really busy day like family day or graduation, it's normally seven minutes or less," he added.
Smith reinforced calling 911 in the event any UXO or suspicious packages are found. The 911 system uses Global Positioning System to pinpoint the location of a phone call so that resources can be accurately dispatched.
"If you see something, say something," Smith said. "If you think it's an IED or just looks strange, go ahead and make the call."