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Investigation in housing to minimally impact residents

A safety officer with the 30th Space Wing Safety office detects anomalies, which are targets of a ground investigation investigation set to be conducted within West Housing June 11 to 29.  The site to be investigated, which is a requreiment prior to housing privatization, was a possibly used as a Camp Cooke grenade training court in the 1940s. (Courtesy Photo)

A safety officer with the 30th Space Wing Safety office detects anomalies, which are targets of a ground investigation investigation set to be conducted within West Housing June 11 to 29. The site to be investigated, which is a requreiment prior to housing privatization, was a possibly used as a Camp Cooke grenade training court in the 1940s. (Courtesy Photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An investigation into a possible World War II-era grenade training court within West Housing is set to be conducted June 11 to 29 in order to meet requirements prior to housing privatization.

One of the housing privatization requirements is for the Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board to issue a certificate of clearance to the contractor, and this investigation will satisfy those requirements, according to a memorandum from the 30th Mission Support Group.

The clearance will document that no unexploded ordnance, or UXOs, exist on the land being conveyed to the developer.

In July 2006, 30th Space Wing Safety office conducted a survey of the area and discovered more than 600 man-made anomalies, which could be sharapnel or waste, and over 400 other targets of interest, said Greg Danet, 30th Space Wing chief of weapons safety. The anomalies appear on a map like blips on a radar detector.

The procedure for the investigation will include digging and unearthing the anomalies after vacating nearby homes and establishing road blocks. The investigation period is expected to last approximately 15 days; however, the dislocation for each family is expected to last only one to five days, Mr. Danet said.

If a UXO is found during the investigation, base safety and security forces will set up a 390-foot exclusion area, notify additional residents to evacuate and call in the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal flight, he said.

After all the anomalies are unearthed, the area will reopen and residents may return.

The impact to each affected resident will be minimized to the best ability of the 30th Space Wing, but affected residents will be required to relocate during the investigation, and will have their mail and refuse interrupted, and must leave pets secured either indoors or off-site.

In addition, each affected resident will be required to secure the home prior to vacating, including locking doors and windows, moving vehicles away from investigation area, and notifying the housing office.

Although base lodging may not be available for all affected families, Vandenberg Housing will arrange off-base contract quarters along with pay for housing for all affected families.

To inform the affected residents, Vandenberg Housing Office hand delivered flyers to the houses and held a town hall for May 17 in the Pacific Coast Club ballroom. For more information, call Gretchen Swinehart or Deborah Buck from the Vandenberg Housing Office at 606-3477 or 606-3434.