A Mine-Blowing Experience

Explosives ordnance disposal technicians at JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, responded to a rare call to dispose of a stranded World War II-era sea mine. Several hikers stumbled upon the rusted contact mine on a rocky coastline north of Sitka, Alaska, and alerted authorities to its whereabouts. After a short flight from Elmendorf to Sitka, the 673rd Civil Engineer Squadron EOD team flew 130 kilometers by Coast Guard HH-60 helicopter to the mine site. The team x-rayed the mine with a portable device, set a charge on a 15-minute fuse, and remounted the helo, observing the detonation from a safe distance offshore during the mid May mission. “Usually anything marine like that is handled by the Navy EOD, but because of the remote location and the fact that it was on land, it was easier for us,” explained SrA. Jason Miller, a 673rd CES EOD technician. (Elmendorf report by Chris McCann)