Training will involve blowing up school bus

Published 11:14 am Saturday, June 16, 2012

WALTERS—A Western Tidewater company that trains military dogs expects high-ranking military and federal government officials for next week’s three-day training on homemade explosives.

A highlight will include blowing up a school bus — an event that is open to the public, said John DeTerlizzi, marketing director for American K-9 Interdiction in Walters.

“We want to show them (trainees) how much impact a homemade explosive could have on a school bus,” DeTerlizzi said Friday. “How much damage and devastation it does.”

Emergency responders and public security professionals from the Eastern seaboard have signed up for the training, which will be given in cooperation with Tripwire Operations Group.

“This class will be attended by some very influential national government VIPs, high ranking military officials and special forces operators as well,” DeTerlizzi said.

Classroom training will be held at American K-9’s facility on Burdette Road off Walters Highway in the mornings, and field training will be in the afternoons.

The detonation of the bus will take place between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. at Isle of Wight Material, a gravel and sand-mining pit near Smithfield also known as Turners. It’s off Benn’s Church Boulevard near Brewers Neck Boulevard. American K-9 uses the site to train dogs.

After the bus is exploded, students will be asked to sift through the clutter to determine the materials used, DeTerlizzi said.

“This will be a very unique detonation and typically not able to be caught on film to show the devastation and damage that is consistent with these type of homemade explosive blasts,” he said.