Fort Benning military police investigators say that materials found in a Columbus dumpster earlier this week were not live explosives as Homeland Security officials had previously thought, but a cache of inert training aids used for troop instruction.
Post spokeswoman Elsie Jackson said members of the Fort Benning's Explosive Ordinance Detection Unit responded to the AutoZone store on Buena Vista Road on Monday, May 10 after a store employee discovered what looked like military ordinances inside a dumpster by the business. What the unit recovered were realistic mock-ups of military ordinances.
"The only thing with the potential to explode was a piece of a land mine fuse and it contained less than 1 gram of explosive," Jackson said.
Lt. Brad Hicks with the Columbus office of Homeland Security said the devices found included military initiators, training blasting caps and a fusing system for an anti-tank mine with a small amount of explosive.
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The Hazardous Devices Response Team first recovered the materials and then handed them over to military police investigators who deemed the devices inert.
Jackson said the training aids were given to the Ammunition Supply Point on post to either be destroyed or integrated back into training.
Investigators were also called out to an auto salvage yard on Morris Road on Wednesday, May 12 after someone reported finding a military ordinance. The device turned out to be a training round, Hicks said. Training rounds are made out of lead to simulate the weight of an explosive, but do not contain explosive material.
If you think you’ve found something that could be an explosive device, Hicks offered these two tips: don’t touch it and call the Homeland Security tip line at 706-225-4021.