Gore Defense

Posts Tagged ‘EOD’

Widget Wednesday:  Universal Power for EOD Teams

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

The PTX Universal Power Kits, based around the SPM-622 Squad Power Manager, dramatically reduces the weight and clutter of batteries, chargers and power adapters for EOD teams.

The EOD Universal Power Kit includes an SPM-622 Squad Power Manager as well as accessories that support the Minehound® and other metal detectors, DeWalt® and Snap-On® tool batteries, the MMX X-Ray viewer, the Micro Tactical Ground Robot, the Smart Ray Vision (SRV) system, and other EOD-specific equipment.

Each Universal Power Kit also includes a foldable solar blanket and the cables and accessories for charging batteries and “scavenging” power from military and civilian trucks, car batteries, and the local AC grid. The kits are delivered as a rugged “roll kit” to keep gear organized and ready for use, while decreasing volume and weight.

The original SPM EOD kit was developed in partnership with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Naval Sea Systems Command (NavSea) and Navy EOD Training & Evaluation Team Two in 2014. They reported a reduction in battery charger equipment weight from 45-lbs. to 9-lbs.!  This 5x reduction in weight also came with a significant improvement in the amount of space taken up in their vehicles by the old gear!

Hundreds of these units have since been proven in-theater with US Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and international EOD teams.

Visit the PTX team this week at ADS Warrior East, booth #103 (Protonex Technology Corp.) to learn more.

For information about the different applications that PTX systems support, visit www.PTXnomad.com

Forces Focus – USAF EOD

Monday, May 14th, 2012

While they are EOD, these guys aren’t training for dive school. No, this is all about water survival and they are using their PT time to focus on a threat that has taken the life of one of their own. Air Force EOD techs don’t attend dive school.

Photo – SSgt Sara Csurilla

Here you can see members of the 380th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron during PT. “We do the pool training because the only Air Force EOD officer to have died in the current conflicts was Capt. Kermit Evans, who passed away when he was forced to bail out from a helicopter over a lake in Iraq,” said Capt. John Fuson, 380th ECES EOD officer in charge. “This just proves that we must be ready for any situation at any time while deployed. In addition to the survival point of the training, pool PT provides an added avenue for fitness and calorie burning.”

EOD techs also conduct CrossFit training in order to maintain top shape for dismounted operations with the US Army. In a DVIDS news article explained, “We do this training because we have to be able to pull our weight, carry our gear and, if necessary, carry a teammate to safety in any situation we may encounter, whether that be rucks on dismounted patrols, water survival, or surviving a blast from an [improvised explosive device]. Mental and physical recovery is significantly more effective when one is physically fit.”

What The Hell, It’s Friday Night

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

As you probably know, SSD is supporters of EOD. Hope some of you find some humor in this, tragic train wreck humor, but humor nonetheless.

USAF EOD Beret Nixed

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Recently, the USAF Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) careerfield (AFSC 3E8X1) asked for a distinctive beret. Specifically, they selected Tan, which as most of us know was chosen for wear by US Army Rangers after their Black beret was given to Big Army. Probably not the best choice of beret but it isn’t already an AF beret color. Additionally, they requested recognition of a distinctive flash featuring the Red Bomb emblem first used by EOD in World War Two.

USAF EOD Beret Proposal

In October their request was denied by Air Force leadership. Specifically, the Air Force’s top Civil Engineer, Maj Gen Timothy Byers rejected the idea and he was understandably supported by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen Norty Schwartz. In a statement to EOD, Byers stated, “Ultimately, their superior training, absolute professionalism, unwavering dedication and joint EOD badge are the hallmarks which definitely set them apart.”

Currently, several careerfields wear berets.

CCT/STO – Scarlet
PJ/CRO – Maroon
TACP/ALO – Black
Weather Parachutists – Grey
Security Force – Blue
SERE Techs – Sage Green

It’s really been a helter skelter smattering of who has a beret and who doesn’t with more and more added over the years. In some cases the beret is worn by actual combat oriented AFSCs and in others only by certain members of careerfields. Additionally, the entire AF Security Forces careerfield wears a beret. Berets have often been considered a mark of the elite (despite the US Army’s decision to institutionalize the Black beret for all Soldiers). When you look at the list, the Air Force’s policy really doesn’t make much sense. For instance Air Force parachutists in careerfields other than those above do not wear a beret (although in many joint billets they do in spite of AF uniform regs) while non-parachutists in some AFSCs do wear them.

This is why the decision to deny an EOD beret makes no sense and there has been much gnashing of teeth on the internet over EOD and why they do or do not rate a beret. There are non-combat AFSCs in the mix already so that argument doesn’t hold water. Granted, a beret does not make the man, but by that argument no one should be wearing them. EOD is being asked to go above and beyond the call and on a regular basis.

USAF Photo

This is the second setback for a careerfield that has recently had to align themselves more as a combat force, based on actual deployed taskings, than the institutional force they have traditionally been. Last year, EOD asked to be declared part of the Battlefield Airman community along with Combat Control, Guardian Angel (PJ/CRO/SERE), TACP, and Combat Weather. Their bid was unsuccessful although they got a partial win.

EOD now has an enhanced indoc course for candidates and they will be required to pass a new EOD-specific PAST (Physical Ability and Stamina Test) test. Additionally, they will now be equipped through the Battlefield Airman Management System, a menu based supply program which was created in 2004 to consolidate and standardize the fielding of personal equipment for those in the Battlefield Airman community.

Both of these decisions are indicative of an Air Force leadership that continues to look at the world as they wish it was rather than how it actually is. Ten years into our nation’s longest conflict, it’s as if the Corporate Air Force refuses to accept that we are actually at war. EOD is completing combat taskings, embedded with Army units and this reality has touched virtually every facet of EOD. While bomb ranges are still supported, EOD Airmen have to learn a whole new set of tasks to survive under fire and neutralize IEDs. Some of EOD’s issues may be that they are part of CE (Civil Engineering) and the CE leadership may well prefer to have their EOD troops pulling range support rather than deployed, dealing with IEDs in a war zone. Wishing won’t make it go away. But then again, where do you put them if not CE?

USAF Photo

An additional issue for EOD may well be that they do not have any career officers. CE officers attend EOD school and command a flight but due to the structure of EOD there are no Squadrons or Groups to command. Officers move on to other CE duties. Other careerfields have opened up to officers such as CRO and career ALO and they are seeing a new emphasis. Perhaps EOD could do with the same.

Don’t get me wrong, EOD enjoys special pays, generous bonuses (due to low manning), higher physical fitness requirements, and access to BAMS. But, with all of this, it seems like they’ve got all of the responsibility of being “special” and none of the recognition. Maybe they don’t need a beret, but like we said earlier, decisions by Air Force leadership regarding EOD seem to display a lack of acceptance of reality. The war is going on. If anything, the IED threat will only increase and there will be more demands on EOD.

Wings for Warriors

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

The Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation is sponsoring all you can eat wings at Lendy’s in Va Beach on March 26th from 1400-1800. In addition to the good eats, there will be a raffle with prizes awarded all through the afternoon. See below for details. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Wings 4 Warriors Outside Flap
Wings 4 Warriors Inside