At approximately 8:15 p.m. May 15 the Fort Hood Police Station received a call from a Killeen resident to report an unknown object falling into an open field adjacent to Aquarius Drive and Trimmier Drive in Killeen, Texas, from an AH-64 Apache helicopter.
Killeen Police Department responded and located the object which was impaled into the surface of the ground. Officials immediately cordoned-off the area.
At approximately 9:15 p.m. Fort Hood's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team was dispatched to the area. Upon arrival, EOD identified the object as an M36 training device. The M36 is an inert training device without a warhead or propulsion system and is designed to enable crews to simulate Hellfire missile engagements in the cockpit without launching from the aircraft. At approximately 11:45 p.m. the inert device was recovered intact and returned to the installation.
"Safety is always our number one concern, and we regret the inconvenience to the families affected in the area. We want to reassure the public that our military aircraft never fly off the installation with live munitions," said Col. Howard Arey, III Corps aviation officer.
"An investigation is underway, even as we review our safety and other procedures to ensure we understand why this happened and how to prevent it from happening in the future. We won't know the cause until the investigation is complete, but we believe at this time that it is not a systemic issue," added Arey.
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