Fort Sill_5 of Fort Sill's bomb squad were honored for their bravery during an explosion back in November. The awards came from the Secretary of the Army. These soldiers responded to an explosion at an ammunition plant in McAlester that killed one man. The Fort Sill soldiers worked alongside others to remove over 140-thousand pounds of scraps and even some dangerous, live ammunition.
This was the scenario: a truck overturned on Highway 40. Oklahoma Highway Patrol responded and found military ammunition spilled across the highway. They called Fort Sill's bomb squad for help. The bomb squad has to be very careful--even just as they are being debriefed. "Before you actually know what you have, it's always scary walking up on something like that but that's what we're trained for and it makes it a little easier because we train well so we prepare for any kind of situation," said Fort Sill bomb squad member Sergeant Daniel Bauer.
With caution, Bauer walks out with pen, paper, and a camera to examine the ammunition. He's looking for size, shape, and other characteristics. "Once you find out what you have and you can look at the publications and find out exactly what you need to do to fix the situation," said Bauer.
They found 4 rounds with explosives--one that was fused. Luckily, they were able to pick them up and transport them. These same demonstrations help the soldiers prepare for very dangerous situations overseas, even during wartime. Anytime there are explosives, they take them all seriously. "Everytime EOD goes out on a scene, we have to treat it as if it's the most dangerous thing out there mainly because there's unknowns you don't know what you're dealing with until you see it," said Fort Sill bomb squad member Captain Clinton Shelby. "Because anything's possible, you never know what you're gonna get," said Bauer.
As dangerous as their job is everyday, they say they forget about any kind of fear and just get the job done. "In our job you assume a risk just by the nature of our job. No one goes out everyday just handling explosives. So when you go out there you really have to be careful," said Shelby.
Fort Sill's bomb squad covers all of Oklahoma and 60 counties in Texas. Anytime potentially dangerous military ammunitions are found, they are called to help.
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