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

UPDATE: Elderly man dead following Union Bay collision

The collision happened around 12:50 p.m. on Sunday

Too Good to be Threw thrift store damaged in late night fire

All store profits were used to support Comox Valley Transition society programs

WATCH: Teams gather in Comox for VEX competition

More than 40 teams across Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland gathered… Continue reading

Dementia village planned for former Comox hospital

Providence Health takes ownership of St. Joseph’s April 1

Vehicle crashes into ground floor of Comox retirement building Saturday

A driver narrowly avoided injury to herself or others as her vehicle… Continue reading

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Comox Valley libraries have plenty to offer during Family Literacy Week

Colleen Nelson Special to The Record Do you have a young reader… Continue reading

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Support pours in for Vancouver Island couple whose home was destroyed by massive blaze

GoFundMe page reached $10,000 in one day for soon-to-be parents

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

Most Read