Package on MCLB not 'explosive'

Photo by Kristen Lowe

Photo by Kristen Lowe

MCLB-ALBANY, Ga. -- An e-mail blast sent out to various military installations from the Department of Defense regarding suspicious packages coming into several bases resulted in a package of a similar nature being found at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany Wednesday.

Soon after, it was determined that the package was not a threat.

The package was discovered at Building 3600, the base's post office, at 8:15 a.m. -- just minutes after the e-mail blast went out.

"They (the post office) acted very quickly and found it," said 1st Lt. Kyle Thomas, public affairs officer at MCLB-Albany. "(The package) is around the size of a book."

Officials immediately went into the process of verifying what address it came from and what exactly was in the package. A dog from the Marine Corps Police Department K-9 unit sniffed the package.

The dog's response indicated to officials the possibility that the package might have contained an explosive device.

Among those involved in the verification process included an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team from Fort Benning.

"The EOD comes in just as a precaution, just in case it is an explosive," Thomas said.

The e-mail warning was in regards to numerous installations having received packages from Fresno, Calif., from an alias with various return addresses. That prompted post office personnel to be on the lookout for a package matching that description.

The base post office personnel were evacuated to a different location on the installation, and the facility was closed off. Other than that, MCLB was functioning normally throughout the day Wednesday, base officials said.

"All other operations at the base have gone on (as usual)," Thomas told reporters a few hours after the discovery.

Once it was determined that the package was not a threat, the employees returned to their work stations.

An e-mail was sent out to the personnel on the base as the investigation was evolving to alert them of the situation and to tell them to stay away from the post office.

At least one representative from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service was also at the base Wednesday to assist in the investigation, Thomas said. There are elements of the incident still under investigation by base officials and various federal agencies, including what tipped the dog off.

No one was injured during the incident.