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EOD team aces VBIED response exercise

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Explosive Ordnance Disposal team members from the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron responded to a simulated vehicle borne improvised explosive device as part of a training exercise here, Dec. 18, 2018.

 

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Workoff, 379th ECES EOD logistics section chief and exercise planner, said the incident was designed to reflect a potential real-world scenario.

 

"It was an opportunity for the team to go out and exercise their ability to respond to a suspect vehicle at an [entry control point]," said Workoff. “It was an opportunity to employ some of the tools and techniques that we don't get to do very often here and be prepared in case something happens."

With the EOD flight’s priority to preserve life and property during the mission, Tech. Sgt. Michael Case and Staff Sgt. Cameron Duncan, 379th ECES EOD technicians, decided to proceed as safely as possible. For this reason, they employed an F6A robotic platform which allowed them to operate at a safe distance from any potential explosive threat that could be present.

 

“We want to preserve ourselves, which is why we have items like the robot,” said Case. “We try to stay as remote as possible which limits our exposure to that hazard. When that can't be done, we have to take semi-remote means or manual approaches.”

During the scenario, Case determined a manual approach was necessary after identifying a potential IED with the robot. Case decided a closer, more analytical look was required to defuse the situation, so he decided to suit up in an EOD 10 Bomb Suit.

After getting eyes on, Case decided to disrupt the threat with a “boot banger,” an explosive device that uses water to disrupt VBIED threats. With the hazard neutralized, Case and Duncan transported the ordnance to a mock emergency disposal area, completing the scenario.

After the training, Workoff said he was happy with the scenario’s outcome, and stated the importance of giving EOD technicians the opportunity to practice their craft.

“My favorite part of the training is to set it up for the guys and see them succeed … being able to give them the opportunities to better their skills, perfect their abilities and become more confident EOD technicians,” said Workoff.