LONDON (AP) — It’s the end of an era for Britain’s Royal Air Force: Its only bomb disposal squadron is being disbanded, 75 years after it was formed to disarm unexploded German bombs.
An RAF spokesman said \there will be “no change to public safety” when the 5131 Bomb Disposal Squadron is phased out in April 2020.
RAF personnel with the bomb disposal unit will be given other positions with the air force. The British Army will take over its duties.
Some explosive ordnance disposal technicians earlier this month got a first taste of what could be their new physical fitness test — including a “brutal” new exercise designed to push these airmen to their limits.
The storied squadron was formed in 1943 during World War II and made safe 176,000 weapons in its first two years.
Unexploded World War II bombs are still found occasionally, often leading to evacuations in neighborhoods where they are discovered.