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News > 2000 pound drill bomb detonated at New Boston
2000lb drill bomb detonated at New Boston
A 2000-lb general purpose bomb was recently discovered in the dewatered portion of Joe Englsih Pond at New Boston Air Force Station, Mass. The bomb was intentionally detonated on site, in place under the oversight of Army Corps of Engineer safety representatives. (Courtesy photo)
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2000 pound drill bomb detonated at New Boston

Posted 10/20/2010   Updated 10/20/2010 Email story   Print story


by Compiled from staff reports
50th Space Wing Public Affairs

10/20/2010 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- New Boston Air Force Station personnel discovered an AN-M66 2000lb general purpose bomb during recent unexploded ordnance remediation activities on the installation Sept. 28.

It was located within the dewatered portions of Joe English Pond and had been covered with a foot of clay and silt and several feet of water for the past 60 years. Only recently did the engineers on station develop a plan and approach to dewater the pond to look for bombs and other ordnance items left over from the bombing runs conducted from 1942-1956 on this former bombing range site.

"All parties involved analyzed the natural state of the pond, and the high potential for unexploded items in the pond area and devised a plan to drain 70 million gallons of water," said Capt. Rebecca Ponder, 23rd Space Operations Squadron civil engineer. "This lowered the depth by about eight feet and exposed about 50 percent of the surface area. The plan was then approved by all applicable government and safety officials to pump the water downstream and remove the dam permanently."

After the water was removed, the team was surprised to discover the 2000lb pound bomb. Research of technical data for bombs from this era indicated that this was a drill type munition and did not contain high explosives. While markings indicated this was most likely a drill bomb, precautions were taken as if it were live.

"The UXO contractor utilized engineering controls to protect personnel and property from any harm or damage in the unlikely event that the bomb contained high explosives," said Maj. Brian Holbein, 23 SOPS operations officer.

The bomb was intentionally detonated on site in place under the oversight of Army Corps of Engineer safety representatives and was, in fact, determined to be inert.

"This mission was a success," said Major Holbein. "Thanks to the efforts of all station personnel and outside agencies, these detonations were executed safely and successfully. Like the rest of the wing, here at New Boston, mission execution and personnel safety come first and both were taken care of flawlessly today."

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