2 WWII bombs found at garrison in Germany
BAUMHOLDER, Germany — For the second time in two days, explosive ordnance disposal teams were called in Thursday to remove an unexploded, 250-pound WWII bomb from a construction site near Smith Barracks on U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz in Baumholder.
All future construction at the site has been placed on hold until a detailed survey of the area can be completed, garrison commander Col. Jason T. Edwards said.
Finding unexploded ordnance in Germany is a relatively common occurrence, but finding two bombs in two days in the same place is not, Edwards said.
“We are going to do an assessment of the area to determine if there is any danger at the installation,’’ he said.
A German construction crew found the first U.S. bomb on Wednesday while making improvements to the base’s water system, said Master Sgt. Daniel W. Bailey, spokesman for the 21st Theater Sustainment Command.
German authorities were called, who then notified Army officials and the 720th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, a subordinate unit of the 16th Sustainment Brigade.
Soldiers removed the unfused bomb from the site and moved it to a nearby German base.
The next morning, the same construction crew found the second munition — also an unexpended, unfused 250-pound bomb — at the same site. Both munitions are slated to be destroyed, Bailey said.
In each instance, large parts of the Baumholder base were cordoned off and access prevented to multiple areas, including the post exchange, one gym, the base library, a dining facility and at least one barracks. On Wednesday night, plans were made to house a group of soldiers in a gym, but those plans were scrapped when the first bomb was removed and the all-clear announcement was given.
On average, more than 2,000 tons of unexploded bombs and other munitions are found each year in Germany. In June, a WWII-era British incendiary bomb was removed from the Army’s Robinson Barracks after being discovered at a construction site on post. In November, officials defused a 500-pound bomb near the Army’s training center in the suburban Stuttgart town of Boeblingen, which forced the evacuation of about 500 residents.