Tyndall Air Force Base has finished destroying thousands of pieces of ordnance in an operation that caused explosions recently heard around Panama City.
The munitions were too damaged to be shipped, used or stored. The disposal was done by Tyndall's Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit.
"This was an extraordinary circumstance because of the amount," said EOD team leader Tech Sgt. Jason Ostberg.
Thousands of pieces of ammunition -- 99 percent of which were aircraft flares -- were estimated to be disposed of during the operation. Tyndall personnel determined which munitions were damaged after getting back to work. The disposal was done on the EOD range at Tyndall.
Usually detonations aren't loud since the EOD unit doesn't usually handle such a large amount. The public and environment were under no risk during the disposal.
"Safety was our number one priority," Ostberg said. "When we were doing this operation, we took every safety precaution in the book. We definitely had the public in our thoughts while we did this. It posed no threat to the public whatsoever."
The EOD unit conducts "safety calculations" prior to each detonation to ensure the proper amount of explosives are used and a safe separation distance is maintained, a news release stated.
The operation was coordinated with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and involved placing C4 countercharges to destroy the munitions, according to the release.
Tyndall was damaged by Hurricane Michael but is recovering and resuming operations.
"The base is actually doing really well. We've got a lot of assets that the community doesn't have, which is unfortunate for the community," 325th Fighter Wing Vice Cmdr. Jefferson Hawkins said in December.
Federal politicians have supported rebuilding the base.
This article is written by Collin Breaux from The News Herald, Panama City, Fla. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.