NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Jumping, building and now defusing – the 820th RED HORSE here has added airborne explosive ordinance disposal to its toolkit.
EOD Airmen are known for their expertise in explosive weaponry and hazardous munitions; they conduct various operations both here and abroad on a daily basis to ensure a safe and secure environment.
Airborne EOD Airmen are traditional EOD Airmen. The Airborne EOD Airmen are adding to their skill set to make themselves more versatile by attending airborne training for three weeks at Fort Benning, Ga., and the two-week Air Assault training at Fort Campbell, Ky.
“EOD is awesome,” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Mosier, 820th RED HORSE airborne EOD journeyman. “I wouldn’t do any other job other than EOD. Airborne EOD is something new … it’s something different.”
Airborne trained EOD servicemembers aren’t unheard of, but this is the first group of Airborne EOD to be assigned to RED HORSE Mosier said.
It’s an Airborne EOD Airman’s job to work as enablers for the squadron by jumping into areas with the RED HORSE airborne Airmen and ensure the area is cleared of unexploded objects and improvised explosive devices.
“Being attached to [RED HORSE], we would be enabling them to get their job done,” said Staff Sgt. Cole Dunham, 820th RED HORSE airborne EOD journeyman. “That’s what being an enabler means. As enablers, we clear any kind of explosive hazards that might pose a risk to the people operating on the ground.”
RED HORSE Airmen are civil engineer Airmen who provide the Air Force with a highly mobile civil engineer response force to support contingency and special operations worldwide. There are four active-duty, five Air Force Reserve Command, and five Air National Guard RED HORSE squadrons.
“[Airborne EOD Airmen] have a very broad spectrum of things that we’re able to do,” Dunham said. “As enablers, we’re like a multi tool for commanders. There are so many different scenarios and situations we can be called up for just because of our skill set. It doesn’t have to be explosives related; we can be augmented for chemical troops because of our training and many other things.”
Mosier said that the mission for RED HORSE is different from the main shop EOD mission because the main EOD shop has to provide base support. Since the RED HORSE airborne EOD Airmen don’t provide base support, they can focus mainly on training and deployments.
The Airborne EOD Airmen said they are proud to be members of the 820th, but they insist it’s all just another day on the job as EOD technicians.