Military explosive devices discovered in two Manitoba First Nations

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) confirmed that unexploded explosive ordnance (UXO) was recently discovered in two Manitoba First Nations.

According to a CAF spokesperson, the 17 Wing Winnipeg’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team was notified about one ordnance observed in Black River First Nation on Saturday. CTV News Winnipeg learned the device was found on the beach.

The UXO found in Black River First Nation. (Source: Kenny Harry)

The following day, team members found two items – one in Black River First Nation and another in Fort Alexander First Nation.

CAF noted that both of the UXOs were safely transported to the 17 Wing EOD disposal range, where they were destroyed.

The spokesperson explained that these UXOs were air-dropped location markers, called marker location marines (MLM), used for search and rescue operations over water.

These markers are discharged from search and rescue aircraft when something of interest is found in the water. The marker ignites on contact with water, which allows the CAF to return to that exact location if necessary.

Marker location marines discharge a thick, dirty-white smoke that can be spotted from aircraft. The smoke is generated by a flame that is visible at night.

The UXO found in Black River First Nation. (Source: Kenny Harry)

So far in 2022, the CAF has responded 94 times to recover and dispose of 322 UXOs – 32 of which were marker location marines. The CAF added that it has personnel ready at a moment’s notice to deal with these types of situations.

The spokesperson added that UXOs can continue to pose a threat even after they’ve served their intended purpose. People who come across these types of devices are reminded not to pick up or move them, but instead, contact their local police force.

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