The 355th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal flight conducted real-world training from March 9th to March 13th, 2020 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.
The training involved locating, identifying and disposing of foreign ordnance with the intention of recovering an airfield after an attack or disposing of legacy munitions after an airfield is taken over.
“We are training conventional ordnances that we already know exist and that we think could be placed in the future,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ian Fox, 355th CES EOD technician. “We’re focusing heavily on foreign ordnance to get comfortable with learning patterns from other countries and to operate in environments where you don’t get the luxury of a two-hour operation.”
The training took place on the EOD range and involved one team leader running each operation, one or two team members monitoring the team leader while giving suggestions along the way and a separate team taking notes and critiquing each member’s performance.
“Our leadership will gear where they want training to go,” said Fox. “We have a great operational mission here and our training program is second to none.”
EOD receives hands-on training on the range at least one full week out of every month. They use this time to hone their skills, as well as qualify on different tactics, techniques and procedures.
“We make sure all these scenarios are as realistic as possible,” said Senior Airman Derrick Schindler, 355th CES EOD technician. “You have to run through a lot of scenarios and learn how to be as safe as possible while thinking outside of the box.”
With little room for error, these Airmen are investing their time and resources into realistic training to avoid even the smallest mistakes. This attention to detail and commitment to excellence keeps Air Force personnel and assets safe.