200 POUNDS OF WWII AMMO DETONATED ON SAIPAN

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By Emmanuel T. Erediano

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Dec. 3) – Specialists from the U.S. Navy detonated 200 pounds of explosives in Marpi on Friday, even as preparations are now underway for a bigger detonation that will pave the way for the construction of a homestead project.

Ordnance blown up during Friday’s detonation, according to program adviser John Scott, was the last batch for this year, but the next one "is going to be a big project."

Scott said they will search for more unexploded World War II munitions at the top of the cliff above the Last Command Post in preparation for a 63-hectare homestead project.

He said they schedule detonations based on the amount of ordnance collected.

On Friday, a U.S. Navy team detonated different types of ordnance that were still hazardous.

Site supervisor Ian Gardner said they had to wrap the ordnance with modern explosives which included 50 pounds of C4 to complete the job.

The actual detonation was preceded by a "bird shot" to drive the birds away in compliance with Division of Fish and Wildlife regulations.

Scott said about 100 pounds of ordnance were detonated on Tinian last week.

In July, 300 to 400 pounds of ordnance were detonated at the same demolition site.

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