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Army's bomb disposal team evacuates - to a new base.

Members of the 721 Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment march past one of their Wheelbarrow robotic bomb disposal machines during a ceremony marking the closure of the regional depot in Moreton on Lugg, near Hereford.

The bomb disposal experts are leaving their base of the last 30 years for a new depot.

They are promising a much speedier response to bomb alerts as their new home will be just half a mile from the M5.

Members of the squadron will be covering the West Midlands, south and mid-Wales, and as far south as Cirencester from their new base at the Central Vehicle Depot in Ashchurch, near Tewkesbury.

Major Keith Mollinson said: "We will be responsible for answering calls from 21 police forces. The proximity of the M5 means we will have a much better response time than at present."

Although bomb disposal is the best known aspect of their work, the squadron's main responsibility is looking after the Army's ammunition, he said.

"It is only when a call comes from the police or the bleeper goes that we switch on the blue light and speed into action."

He added that people are now much more wary of suspicious packages than they used to be, and this has led to more calls for their services.

The 20 men who make up 712 Squadron have already moved into quarters at Ashchurch. Work on their brand new purpose-built workshops is expected to be finished shortly.

Picture/JOHN JAMES
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 25, 1998
Words:245
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