Artillery types

Marines find 3 artillery shells near California Barracks

The Marine Corps appears to have misplaced artillery rounds on Camp Pendleton, California.

On October 19, at Camp Pendleton, Calif., officials received two reports of unexploded ordnance in Area 43 of the base, commonly known as Las Pulgas, Jask and purpose reported first.

Las Pulgas is home to the 11th Marine Regiment, an artillery unit made up of several batteries that fire 155mm shells.

After investigation, emergency services and explosive ordnance disposal personnel found a 155mm projectile, California spokesman Capt. David Mancilla told the Marine Corps Times in a written statement Thursday.

“After securing the immediate area, EOD and emergency services personnel provided security overnight to facilitate the safe destruction of the ball on site,” Mancilla said.

The Marine Corps did not specify what type of shell was discovered.

If this was the high explosive shell often issued to howitzer batteries for training exercises, the projectile could have contained approximately 24 pounds of TNT.

On Monday, the Marine Corps found two more 155mm projectiles in the Las Pulgas area.

Although the Corps did not specify what type of projectiles were found, Mancilla said both shells were found to be non-explosive.

Non-explosive 155mm projectiles used by Marine Corps artillery include illuminating cartridges and white phosphorus-based smoke cartridges.

The two shells were dumped in a “separate and safe” location, Mancilla added.

The 11th Marine Regiment has launched an investigation, Task and Purpose reported.

This is not the first time that 155mm shells have been discovered unexpectedly.

In highway 2015 workers near Fort Bragg, North Carolina discovered four 155mm shells, believed to be 10 or 20 years old at the time, Army Times previously reported.

And in 2018, a soldier confessed to stealing an M107 155mm explosive projectile years before, Reported task and goal.

Although the 155mm projectiles weigh about 100 pounds, at about 2.5 feet high, without a fuse, they can fit into an enhanced carrier equipment pack released by the Marine Corps.