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Dobbins, community respond to bomb threat

A tow truck removes a car from the main entrance to Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. Authorities received a bomb threat March 11, 2009, after the owner parked the car and claimed it contained a dangerous device. Explosive ordnance disposal specialists from the base used water bottle charges to disrupt the contents of the vehicle so items could be removed and the scene rendered safe. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Stan Coleman)

A tow truck removes a car from the main entrance to Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. Authorities received a bomb threat March 11, 2009, after the owner parked the car and claimed it contained a dangerous device. Explosive ordnance disposal specialists from the base used water bottle charges to disrupt the contents of the vehicle so items could be removed and the scene rendered safe. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Stan Coleman)

Col. Steven H. Slick, 94th Mission Support Group commander, speaks to Atlanta media about the joint response by the City of Marietta and Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., to a bomb threat near the base's main gate March 11, 2009.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James Branch)

Col. Steven H. Slick, 94th Mission Support Group commander, speaks to Atlanta media about the joint response by the City of Marietta and Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., to a bomb threat near the base's main gate March 11, 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James Branch)

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- Base and local authorities squashed a bomb threat at the Dobbins ARB main gate March 11.

The incident began at 4:45 p.m. after a man parked his car about 50 feet from the guard shack and told the guards his vehicle had dangerous materials inside.

"The individual exited his vehicle and began behaving in a manner that led us to believe he had some kind of problem," said Col. Steven H. Slick, 94th Mission Support Group commander, during a press conference March 12 with Atlanta media. "He mentioned he had various unsafe items in the car to include an explosive device."

Members of the 94th Security Forces Squadron immediately detained the man.

"There was a great concern that the items in the car presented a possible threat to the safety and security of the main gate and the immediate area," said the colonel.

Base officials isolated the vehicle and dispatched an explosive ordnance disposal team to investigate it. Members of the City of Marietta's police and fire departments also responded to the incident.

"We used a robotic device that utilized lights and cameras and is able to move items in a vehicle, said Master Sgt. Brad McKinney, 94th EOD flight chief. "Whenever possible, we use remote devices to ensure we are not exposing anyone to any unnecessary hazards."

The number of items in the suspected vehicle made it difficult to determine the risk, said Sergeant McKinney. As a result, an EOD specialist in a bomb suit had to remove some of the items with ropes from a safe distance.

"Afterwards, we placed a couple of mineral water bottle charges in the vehicle," said Sergeant McKinney. "In essence, our team used highly pressurized water to disrupt the contents inside the car. This method was effective in that it was not very intrusive and did not result in excessive damage."

A robotic device and an EOD specialist outfitted in a bomb suit then analyzed the vehicle to determine there were no other hazards in the car.

Colonel Slick thanked the City of Marietta for the assistance of its police and fire departments.

"We enjoy great relationships with the public safety organizations of Cobb County and the City of Marietta," he said. "Both agencies played a vital role in securing the scene while helping to ensure no one from the public was in peril."

The suspect was placed in the custody of the Marietta Police Department.

"The security teams from Dobbins conducted a textbook response to this type of situation," said Officer Mark Bishop of the Marietta Police Department. "They were extremely easy to work with and the consummate professionals." (Air Force Reserve Command News Service)