Real-life incident puts military training exercise to the test at 19 Wing

Suspicious package discovered at the 19 Wing mail room

  • Feb. 25, 2015 2:00 p.m.

Erin Haluschak

Record Staff

A practice demonstration quickly turned to real life, as CFB Comox’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team helped neutralize a suspicious package Monday morning at the base’s mail room.

Emergency response aided in cordoning off the building and surrounding area, explained Maj. Mary Lee, 19 Wing’s public affairs officer.

Coincidentally, the EOD experts from across the Canadian Armed Forces are at the base to test their skill set around improvised explosive devices during a two-week exercise which began Feb. 16.

They held a training session off-base at the Comox Fire Department Tuesday morning as part of Exercise Taz Runner.

“It’s quite uncanny timing,” added Lee. “Even if the timing was a coincidence, we need to always be vigilant.”

“Situations do happen, and the EOD teams know exactly what to do.”

Around 10:45 a.m., an unmarked package was brought to the attention of military staff to take immediate action and evacuate the building.

The package was hard to track and didn’t have any identifying addresses, which raised a red flag for staff, noted Lee.

The EOD team neutralized the package, and following a forensic investigation, it was deemed the content to be non-threatening and benign.

Lee explained it’s incidents like this that highlight the need for training, for both internal and external threats.

“It’s a new environment where warfare exists,” she said.

“Anywhere is susceptible to incidents, and it’s necessary to be vigilant, and train the way we fight.”

• • •

Fifty members from the navy, army and air force are participating in Exercise Taz Runner, with the goal to improve proficiency and interoperability with other military units through exposure to difficult Improvised Explosive Device Disposal.

“Explosive technology is evolving and our personnel need to ensure they will be ready to meet the challenge they pose, regardless of where in the world we are called upon to deploy,” said Lt. Edward Jensen, 19 explosives disposal flight commander in a press release.

Many of the participants are members of the RCAF who specialize in air weapons, however, as experts in dealing with explosive devices, they are often deployed around the world to support army, navy or joint operations as well.


Just Posted

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ in Courtenay to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

2018 municipal election: Few surprises on Vancouver Island

16 incumbent mayors will continue in their positions for four more years

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Cam Levins sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The 29-year-old from Black Creek, B.C., ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

Steady stream of voters at Filberg

Voter turnout has been a steady stream Saturday at the Florence Filberg… Continue reading

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

Most Read