CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WNCT) – Base officials aboard Camp Lejeune are urging civilians to stop trespassing on Browns Island.
Browns Island may seem like just another piece of paradise. However, the land can pose a danger to those who don’t know how to navigate it.
“We were able to dock the boat today because I was able to do a recon of the beach before we went there,” said Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, Capt. William Mueller.
That gives an idea of just how dangerous the land can be. Browns Island has been a bombing range for the base since the 1940s, from WWII all the way up to Iraqi Freedom.
“Over the years, there have been thousands and thousands and thousands of live rounds of ammunition aimed at this area,” said Camp Lejeune Range Control Officer, Nicholas Klaus.
And that’s left a lasting impact on the island and its surrounding areas, with lingering explosives and hazardous materials along the shoreline.
“Not all of them function. Some of them are duds or what we call unexploded ordnance. And that’s the big danger of walking around here, digging, beaching your boat, anchoring your boat anywhere around here,” said Klaus.
Base officials want to warn the public ahead of summer.
“Some small, tiny movement could cause an [unexploded ordnance] to blow up. So, we obviously don’t want the public trespassing on base, especially where we know [unexploded ordnance] was around,” said Klaus.
They want to remind those who trespass that they could face jail time, a hefty fine, and even an appearance in federal court.
“This area is far too hazardous for civilians to be on, for myself and my section of bomb technicians. It’s dangerous for us to be out here. And we have several years’ experience in the EOD community,” said Mueller.