As part of the Defense Department’s “Showcasing Lethality” series, three Air Force explosive ordnance disposal technicians from the 11th Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, briefed reporters at the Pentagon today on what their EOD unit does in the national capital region.
Master Sgt. Aaron Lin, Staff Sgt, Javier Martinez, and Staff Sgt. Hunter Eckwall — natives of Nevada, California and Wisconsin, respectively, all have served multiple deployments overseas, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The airmen emphasized how well prepared they are for any situation, noting that the Air Force has invested a lot in them, from the initial $1 million in training during their first year to the additional money spent on keeping them up to date and sharp in their specialty.
Martinez said the investment paid off when he served as the team lead in identifying and containing a suspicious package at a Secret Service mail facility on Andrews.
The EOD technicians spoke in front of a display that featured a variety of tools and equipment they use to help them get the job done. They control all of the equipment during an operation, they said, and their robots do not do anything without the team controlling them.
Equipment on Display
Among the equipment on display was a PackBot 310, which performs dismounted operations such as surveillance and EOD and route-clearance measures, and the micro tactical ground robot.
The MTGR offers EOD airmen a technologically advanced option to operate in a safer environment, they said, while its lightweight build delivers the flexibility to perform missions in otherwise unreachable locations.
An EOD technician’s mission is to make sure everyone gets home safe, they emphasized, including themselves. Though they sometimes have to don a bomb suit, they said, advances in technology continues to provide them with safer and safer options.