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Andersen EOD gives history and safety lesson to local high school

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Benjamin Wiseman
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Members of the 36th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight taught safety and history to 43 George Washington High School students during a field trip here, May 1.

As part of students' curriculum on World War II in relation to Guam's history, Andersen EOD invited students to their facility to get a first-hand lesson on munitions and other artifacts that were used during the historic period.

"Visiting the base and interacting with the military helps us teach this portion of the curriculum," said Dave Nelson, GWHS history teacher. "We can teach them in the classroom all day, but to physically see and experience what the military does here really reinforces what we teach."

During their visit, the students had the opportunity to control the F6A robot, put on an EOD bomb suit and interact with EOD personnel.

"Some of these students have never been on base or interacted with the military," said Nelson. "It really sparks their curiosity. The visit helped them learn what the military role is on Guam."

Members of Andersen EOD not only gave a quick lesson about munitions dropped during past wars, but also used this visit to give a few safety tips to the students.

"One of the main reasons we invited the students out to the base was to brief them on safety," said Staff Sgt. John Blas, Andersen EOD operations NCO in charge. "There are unexploded ordnances scattered around the island and some of these students could actually come in contact and be affected by them."

During World War II, several munitions were dropped on the island of Guam. UXOs are still found around the island today, and a few have been found by students.

"We want to make sure the students know what to look for and what to do if they ever find a UXO off base," said Blas. "A simple brief now could save a life later."

Both Andersen and Naval Base Guam EOD units are responsible for responding to off-base incidents. They assist in neutralizing and disposing munitions that are found anywhere on the island.

"Coming and meeting the people that take care of the UXOs means a lot to the students," Nelson continued. "Seeing the people that help off base really brings the present military role and safety lesson in full circle."

After the visit, the GWHS students left Andersen with abundant information on some history of the base and UXOs.

"Now they know if they find a UXO, they should not touch it and call the appropriate agencies." said Nelson. "The students were very grateful and excited about the visit. It was a great experience."

If you or someone you know comes across a UXO off base, dial 911 for emergency response. For on base incidents, contact the 36th Security Forces Squadron Law Enforcement Desk at 366-2910 or the 36th Wing Command Post at 366-2981.

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