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    UXO removal vital piece of Hohenfels safety progam

    UXO removal vital piece of Hohenfels safety program

    Photo By Sgt. Alicia Brocuglio | Antonio F. Padilla, tactical safety specialist, Joint Multinational Readiness Center,...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Alicia Brocuglio 

    130th Public Affairs Detachment

    HOHENFELS, Germany -- Four pieces of unexploded ordinance were safely destroyed at the Hohenfels Training Area by a team of safety and explosive experts, Aug. 4.

    Two 81 mm artillery rounds, one 75 mm round and one 105 mm anti-tank round were discovered and marked in a wooded area off the tank trail earlier in the week.

    Antonio F. Padilla, tactical safety specialist for the Joint Multinational Readiness Center here, coordinated with the Hohenfels Fire Department, the 702nd Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Company from Grafenwoehr, Germany and other units in the training area to create a safety perimeter prior to detonation.

    This is not a rare occurrence for Padilla and the team.

    "We usually get about twenty five [UXOs] a year," said Padilla. It is in fact a problem that JMRC and people throughout Germany have become quite accustomed to solving.

    The U.S. Army used Hohenfels as a live-fire range from 1951 until the mid-1980s; prior to that, the land was used by German military. According to Padilla, UXOs sometimes surface because of erosion, water, or other changes to the land. Explosives dating back as far as World War I have been discovered here.

    When a suspected UXO is reported, Padilla immediately contacts EOD for confirmation that the object is a UXO. Then, coordination begins between multiple Hohenfels organizations. Padilla maintains communications with multiple units assisting with UXO disposal as well as air traffic controllers, the JMRC Division Tactical Operations Center (DTOC) and base JMRC command.

    "I also email the JMRC community prior to the event as well to inform them so the sounds don't alarm them," Padilla said.

    Live explosives are used to destroy the UXOs in place, and at times can be heard or felt on the military base, training area and neighboring villages. Therefore, Padilla maintains communications with the community to reduce disruption to regular activity around Hohenfels.

    For this particular disposal, in addition to the teams Padilla normally uses for assistance, Padilla invited EOD Marines working with the Georgian Army to assist and provide real world experience for their mission readiness exercise, which is already underway as part of joint, multinational training at Hohenfels.

    As part of his role to maintain safe training areas, Padilla briefs all soldiers and other personnel that train at JMRC at the beginning of their training rotation. He informs all personnel of identification and reporting protocol for UXO.

    Because the Hohenfels' "Box" is within German territory, Padilla uses all his resources to assist with the safety of the training area, to include working with local nationals, loggers, forestry department and park rangers that use and maintain the land. Clearing these UXOs not only makes training safer for the units here, but reclaims this land for future use.

    Padilla stresses that safety is everyone's responsibility "Help me out and keep the training area safe," said Padilla.



    Date Taken: 08.04.2015
    Date Posted: 08.07.2015 10:39
    Story ID: 172460
    Location: HOHENFELS, DE 

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