“If you ever come across anything suspicious like this item, please do not pick it up, contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance”
PATRICK SPACE FORCE BASE, FL, UNITED STATES
Story by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman
Space Launch Delta 45
When Johnny Winters, a tool technician from Georgia was cleaning out his father-in-law’s garage in Palm Bay, Florida, Nov. 24, he found an MK2 grenade. “My father-in-law passed away the Friday before Thanksgiving, and while I was cleaning out his garage, I discovered a cardboard tube with the grenade,” Winters said. “I thought it was fake.” Winters examined the grenade for a few seconds and soon found the words “military issue” inscribed on the bottom, which led him to believe it was real. “I told my wife to get out of the house,” he said. “It scared the hell out of me. I didn’t want anyone to get hurt.” Winters carefully transported the grenade to the front yard and contacted the Palm Bay Police Department. Palm Bay PD then requested support from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. Mike Helms, BCSO sergeant and a bomb squad team leader, responded. “After making contact with Palm Bay PD and examining the device, we placed ammo cans lined with plywood around it to mitigate potential damage from a blast should one occur,” Helms said. “We realized it was a military explosive so we requested support from the Air Force explosive ordnance disposal team at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.” Two EOD technicians from the 45th Civil Engineer Squadron were dispatched to the scene. “When we arrived, we were focused on safety, so we asked BCSO officers to ensure everyone stayed in their homes and away from the area,” said Senior Airman Dalton Shaw, 45th CES EOD journeyman. “From there, we secured the grenade in a container, loaded it in our response vehicle and returned to Cape Canaveral SFS where the grenade was disposed of.” Nobody was injured during the response, which is something Shaw said he appreciates. “I was ecstatic after we removed the grenade knowing the family of that residence would no longer be in harm’s way,” he said. “It brings me great pride knowing that my job can help protect people and property from the dangers of explosive items.” Shaw was also part of an EOD response to Satellite Beach Nov. 25 to remove an Mk58 Marine Location Marker that washed ashore. The call once again came from the BCSO.
If you find anything that appears to be an explosive device, do not touch it, leave it where it is and call the police. We will contact the appropriate agencies to properly dispose of the item.
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