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    Bomb squad personnel attend unexploded ordnance course at Gettysburg Museum

    Bomb squad personnel attend unexploded ordnance course at Gettysburg Museum

    Courtesy Photo | U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians joined Federal,...... read more read more



    Story by Walter Ham 

    20th CBRNE Command

    GETTYSBURG, Pa. – U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians joined Federal, state and local bomb squad personnel at a Civil War era unexploded ordnance course at the Gettysburg National Military Park.

    Around 35 bomb squad personnel from nine U.S. military, state and local bomb disposal units attended the UXO awareness course.

    Members of the U.S. Army’s 55th Ordnance Company (EOD); U.S. Air Force’s 316th EOD Wing; Pentagon Force Protection Agency; Pennsylvania State Police Bomb Squad; Maryland State Police Bomb Squad; Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department Bomb Squad; Montgomery County Police Bomb Squad; Arlington County Fire Department Bomb Squad; and Loudoun County Bomb Squad attended the training.

    R. Gregory Goodell, the museum curator at the Gettysburg National Military Park, conducted the training course to provide an overview of the variety of Civil War era artillery ammunition that bomb squad professionals are likely to encounter.

    “This is particularly important for two reasons: the physical imprint clearly made by this ammunition on our physical landscape and the presence of historic artillery ammunition in accumulated museum collections across the country,” said Goodell. “Our military and law enforcement EOD teams are the first line of response in addressing this piece of our accumulated history.”

    Goodell said an enormous amount of artillery was fired during the Battle of Gettysburg, which was one of the costliest and most decisive battles of the Civil War.

    “Both armies collectively expended around 55,000 rounds of artillery ammunition during the battle,” said Goodell. “This included all of the typical field artillery ammunition of the time – solid shot and bolt, cannister, shell and case shot.”

    A native of Westminster, Maryland, and graduate of Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland, Goodell has been at the Gettysburg Museum for 22 years.

    Goodell said the Battle of Gettysburg and Civil War continue to inspire a deeper study and examination more than 160 years (eight score) after the guns fell silent.

    Staff Sgt. Dustin D. Turner from the U.S. Army’s 55th Ordnance Company (EOD) coordinated the UXO training course with the other bomb squads.

    The Fort Belvoir, Virginia-based 55th EOD Company responded when a 3-inch Burton Case Shot was discovered in February 2023. The Army EOD team determined that the item was safe to transport to a local disposal area to be destroyed by detonation.

    The 55th EOD Company “VIPpers” are part of the 192nd EOD Battalion, 52nd EOD Group and 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. military’s premier CBRNE command. From 19 bases in 16 states, Soldiers and U.S. Army civilians from the 20th CBRNE Command deploy to take on the world’s most dangerous hazards in support of joint, interagency and allied operations.

    The 55th EOD Company covers explosive response missions in most of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, as well as in half of Pennsylvania, part of Washington D.C., and part of West Virginia. The company also supports the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Department of State during Very Important Person Protection Support Activity missions to provide protection to the president, first lady, vice president and foreign heads of states.

    A native of Memphis, Tennessee, who attended Willow Springs High School in Willow Springs, Missouri, Turner has served in the U.S. Army for seven years and deployed to Afghanistan. He became an EOD technician because he wanted to combat the Improvised Explosive Devices that were being used to target U.S. troops.

    Turner has been the team leader on 11 EOD emergency responses.

    “My most memorable call was also on Gettysburg,” said Turner. “There was an explosive shell from the battle lodged in the wall of the Josiah Benner Farm Building, which had been a temporary Union hospital during the battle. We responded and removed the shell from the wall and took it to a nearby area for disposal by detonation.”

    The U.S. Department of Defense Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Network and Information Exchange (DENIX) recommends that anyone who encounters what they think might be an unexploded munition should follow the three “Rs” of explosive safety, which are to recognize, retreat and report:

    Recognize – when you may have encountered a munition and that munitions are dangerous.

    Retreat – do not approach, touch, move or disturb it, but carefully leave the area.

    Report – call 911 and advise the police of what you saw and where you saw it.

    More information on UXO safety is available at



    Date Taken: 08.22.2023
    Date Posted: 08.22.2023 16:07
    Story ID: 451917
    Hometown: MEMPHIS, TN, US
    Hometown: WESTMINSTER, MD, US
    Hometown: WILLOW SPRINGS, MO, US

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