Press Release: Cannon, Air Force specialists identify ordnance

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. – A joint team of U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) specialists successfully identified the contents of a World War II-era ordnance that was located June 11 near a Hobbs, N.M., museum.

Extensive tests confirmed today the nearly 100-pound ordnance to be an incendiary device, which is typically composed of a gasoline and rubber mixture or oil mixture. This type of explosive can be safely stored and will ultimately be destroyed at a later date by Cannon Air Force Base EOD technicians.

The ordnance was originally found in White City, N.M., early last week and later taken to the Western Heritage Museum in Hobbs, N.M., to be considered for a museum display.

New Mexico State Police, Cannon Air Force Base, and U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians worked in a collaborative effort to identify the type and content of the ordnance and ultimately render it safe.

One major finding was that the ordnance did not contain a fuse, greatly decreasing the likelihood of any unintended detonation of the device. The lack of a fuse contributed to the decision to transport the ordnance from Hobbs, N.M., to Melrose Air Force Range on June 14.

Run by Cannon AFB, Melrose AF Range provided a more secure environment within which the EOD technicians could conduct further tests on the munition to pinpoint its exact type and composition.

Now that the contents of the ordnance have been successfully identified and considered safe for storage, Cannon AFB will hold it in a secure facility and safely dispose of it at a date that has not yet been set.