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Exploring History: 898th Munitions Squadron and DTRA Visit Trinity Site

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ruben Garibay
  • 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

In a blend of historical reverence and as a sign of deterrence to our nation's adversaries, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency invited the 898th Munitions Squadron to embark on a journey to a pivotal place in human history, a location which stands as the birthplace of the atomic age, the Trinity Site in Alamogordo, N.M., May 17, 2024.

The Trinity Site is a historical landmark that signifies the location of where the United States first tested an atomic bomb, marking the detonation of the world’s first nuclear weapon.

Throughout the tour, the team visited a variety of landmarks to include the outer shelling of Jumbo at the entrance of ground zero, the exact location where the bomb detonated, and the McDonald Ranch House which is two miles southeast of ground zero.

Each of these locations holds historical significance, and the 898 MUNS was able to visit each of these sites to learn about their roles in the past and the roles they serve in the present.

“This is nothing like what I was expecting,” Tech. Sgt. Corey Webb, 898 MUNS weapons technician, shares. “It’s actually underwhelming to see the impact of the site throughout the years, but I really like the [trinitite] rocks that were formed as a result from the test.

The team was also given radiation equipment to measure and survey the area for radiation. Upon looking, the team was able to locate hot-spots of concentrated radiation left from the initial detonation.

Identifying these areas allows the Airmen to recognize what has been impacted and what has not been affected from the test that took place almost 75 years ago.

The question may loom about the potential effects of lingering radiation, but after research and countless tests done at the Trinity Site, scientists have concluded that the amount of radiation a person is exposed to at ground zero in one hour, is very low and not life threatening. Many places on Earth are naturally more radioactive than the Trinity Site.

“Outings like this allow me to reflect back on that heritage and tradition of where it all came from,” Airman Troy St. James, 898 MUNS weapons maintainer, shares. “It’s a bigger picture that we are able to see, and I am very thankful to our partnership with DTRA for inviting our unit out here and making it happen.”