During a joint meeting on Thursday, March 31st, representatives from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office, Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) and the Office of the County Administrator met with personnel from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to discuss the discovery of benign explosive training material Wednesday on an LCPS bus.
The training material was determined to have been left inside the engine compartment of the bus during a K9 training exercise conducted by the CIA during spring break at Briar Woods High School. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office and Sheriff’s Office – with the cooperation of LCPS – are participants in the CIA K9 Training.
The CIA assured Loudoun officials the training material used in this exercise is stable and posed no danger to students on board the bus. The exact nature of the training material used in this exercise is not being released at the request of the CIA so as not to compromise its training techniques.
In response to this incident, the Sheriff’s Office, Fire Marshal, LCPS and the CIA announced that this particular training program has been suspended until a thorough review of all procedures is completed.
As part of the training exercise last week, canine explosive detection training was conducted in areas inside and outside of Briar Woods. During the outside portion, a container holding the training material was hidden inside the engine compartment of a bus. At some point, a portion of the material appears to have fallen from the container into the engine compartment. The material that fell from the container was not recovered following the training.
On Wednesday night, the Sheriff’s Office and Fire Marshall’s Office used three canine units to inspect any buses that were parked at Briar Woods during the training exercise purely as a precaution. No further traces of the training material were found.
The bus in which the missing training material was located was in service on Monday and Tuesday. It made eight runs totaling 145 miles carrying 26 students attending Rock Ridge High School, Buffalo Trail Elementary School and Pinebrook Elementary School. In addition to a general announcement to all LCPS students, parents and staff Wednesday night, the principals of the three affected schools did outreach calls to students of the affected bus.
The training material was discovered during routine maintenance on the bus Wednesday afternoon at the LCPS maintenance facility at Loudoun Center Place. The Sheriff’s Office and Fire Marshal were immediately notified of its discovery and it was removed from the site.
Here is the link to the CIA press release on this matter, https://www.cia.gov/news-information/press-releases-statements/2016-press-releases-statements/statement-from-cia-on-k-9-training-incident-in-loudoun-county-va.html