Losses and Aviation Safety

Homestead Air Reserve Base was evacuated after a Mk 82 fell off from F-16 and rolled close to other bombs

Homestead Air Reserve Base was evacuated in the night of Dec. 16, 2021 after a 500-pound bomb fell off an F-16 fighter jet.

Homestead Air Reserve Base was evacuated in the night of Dec. 16, 2021 after a 500-pound bomb fell off an F-16 fighter jet while it was still on the ground, a source with knowledge of the base told to Miami Herald.

The bomb, that according to Alert 5 was a Mk 82, rolled into an area near where more 500-pound explosives are stored, the source, who requested to remain anonymous, said. The source added that an explosives ordnance demolition squad was sent in to disarm or isolate the dropped bomb.

Homestead Air Reserve Base said in a post on Twitter around 7:30 p.m. that the evacuation was due to “an incident involving damaged ordinance [sic].” (Ordnance means ammunition. An ordinance is a law).

The evacuation of base personnel was “out of an abundance of caution,” according to the post.

A base spokesman the next day denied the bomb came off a plane, saying the incident “did not involve any of our aircraft.” The base announced that the situation was under control before 10 p.m.

A media release appeared on Homestead Air Reserve Base’s site says:

‘At around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, a transportation mishap occurred involving explosive ordnance. Homestead Air Reserve Base first responders evacuated personnel from base due to the damaged ordnance.

‘Base emergency personnel coordinated with local law enforcement to clear the areas surrounding the base. Once the damaged ordnance was safely secured, the all-clear was given. No one was injured in the incident.

‘At around 7:40 a.m. today, the 482nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team rendered the damaged ordnance safe.

‘“I want to thank our outstanding EOD professionals and first responders for their great work last night,” Col. David Castaneda, 482nd Fighter Wing commander said. “I’d also like to thank our local law enforcement for their support in keeping our local community safe. My top priority is the success of our mission and the safety of our HARB personnel and the local community.”

‘This incident is under investigation. We will be providing additional information as it becomes available.’

When the incident was first announced, Tyler Grimes, the base’s public affairs chief, urged civilians and local residents to avoid the area.

Photo credit: CMSGT Don Sutherland / U.S. Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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