Vandenberg Air Force Base bomb technicians discovered a 200-pound explosive on Wednesday — leftover from the days when the facility was an Army corps training camp — as they were conducting a sweep of the area burned by last week’s Bear Creek Fire. The bomb was soon after detonated where it lay.
That is oftentimes the safest way to dispose of the base’s unexploded ordnance (UXO) when it is unearthed, say base officials, as nothing remains of it afterward. Firefighters had been warned about UXO in the South Base area as they tackled what turned into a 1,200-acre blaze.
Member’s of Vandenberg’s 30th Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), armed with metal detectors, consistently comb the base’s grounds looking for UXO. They find everything from rifle-fired grenades and rockets from Korean War-era troop exercises to large bombs. The explosives are then either detonated where they’re found (if they’re too corroded to move) or transported to a range and then blown up.