ArmyTeam Handles Explosives, Keeps Servicemen Safe - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

ArmyTeam Handles Explosives, Keeps Servicemen Safe

Spc. Nicholas Trueman Spc. Nicholas Trueman

By Stephen Florino

(KHNL) - A US Army explosives team says the Moloka'i landfill is safe. Two groups of military ordnance was found at the island's only landfill on Wednesday, and last week.

A three-man team from the 706th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company went there, and disposed of the first group.

The team deemed the second one was not a hazard, but urged that the recycling area of the landfill remain closed.

The ultimate goal of the 706 is protection. And team members say they enjoy doing it.

The protective suit.

The big gun.

And remote controlled robots.

they may look like cool toys, but these are actually vital weapons for the army's 706th company.

"We have a primary job of protecting life, limb, and property of both military and civilian personnel," said Maj. Stephen Kavanaugh.

Their specialty is explosive ordnance disposal. For example, these robots can go in and recover a bomb, instead of sending a man.

"We would send the robot, and if there was anything to bring back, we would take it, possibly to a safe area that we've established where no one's at," said Specialist Nicholas Trueman.

And that's important in the war zone.

"Every IED or raodside bomb that we take care of is one less opportunity to take an American life away," said Specialist Michael Smith.

"Believe it or not, I thought it was pretty fun. It was a challenge everyday, and i'm always up for a challenge."

But you don't have to go far to find a challenge.

Besides assisting at Molokai's landfill, team members also help local authorities with any suspicious packages, and anything else that's discovered.

And since Hawaii has many training areas and former war zones, it is a lot.

"All in a days work," said Kavanaugh. "Part of our mission, and part of what we expect to do every single day."

The 706 also handles chemical, biological, and nuclear explosives. And they say they are always ready, and willing.

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