756th EOD robot clears suspicious package at Hunter Army Airfield

A robot operated by Soldiers with the 756th EOD help investigate and clear a suspicious package on Hunter Army Airfield near the commissary, July 9. (U.S. Army photo by Steve Hart, Hunter Army Airfield)
July 11, 2019

By Steve Hart
Hunter Army Airfield Public Affairs

A suspicious package caused the evacuation of the Hunter commissary at around 8:30 a.m. June 9.

The package was located behind the commissary by a commissary employee.

“The package seemed suspicious because it was a crate and not cardboard, as are most deliveries to the commissary,” said Marites Pennington, Hunter commissary director. “Our receiver brought it to my attention, I looked at it and I called the military police desk. They sent MPs here before I was even off the phone.”

Shortly thereafter the Hunter Fire Department was on the scene and Pennington evacuated the commissary.

The 756th Explosive Ordnance Disposal was requested from Fort Stewart.
EOD personnel sent their remote-controlled robot to where the package was located, while they observed its appearance via the robot’s cameras.

First Lieutenant Joshua Coll, platoon leader, sent one of his Soldiers forward in a bomb suit with detonation cord. When the Soldier returned to a safe distance from the package, it was detonated. After it was learned the crate only contained packaging material such as Styrofoam and bubble wrap, Coll declared the site safe.

“I’m proud of the manner in which commissary personnel handled this matter,” said Lt. Col. Dave Escobar, Hunter garrison commander. “They were vigilant and knew to not handle the suspicious package and to call emergency responders. Our police, fire and EOD personnel responded quickly and appropriately,” Escobar added with a sense of pride.