Civilians at Florida airport were evacuated and Air Force explosive ordnance disposal technicians from nearby MacDill Air Force Base were called in after an unarmed French missile, essentially like a firearm with a safety on, was found at the Lakeland Linder International Airport Friday afternoon by a contractor who was on duty. It was safely transported to a munition storage facility at MacDill Air Force Base, where it awaits proper disposal.
This was disclosed by the airport and base officials.
According to Eugene Conrad, Airport Director, the airport had earlier received inert missiles in the past as part of shipments for their defense contractor tenant, Draken International.
But the fact that the missile was found live led to an evacuation of the whole southeast side of the airport for about four hours.
Members of MacDill’s 6th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team were dispatched to secure the missile, and the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron sent a truck with a team to help them load and transport it to base, said Lt. Brandon Hanner, spokesman for the 6th Air Refueling Wing.