Air Force

June 7, 2013

Day on the Job: EOD techs

Tags:
Senior Airman Benjamin Stratton
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Joel Calahan inspects the battery pack of an explosive ordnance disposal bomb suit, May 29 at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia. Calahan is a 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron EOD craftsman deployed from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

SOUTHWEST ASIA — Explosive ordnance disposal technicians deployed to Afghanistan perform counter-improvised explosive device operations in harsh conditions daily.

Equipment and supplies are an essential element to this mission and without the modular supply depot here at the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron’s EOD flight, safe, secure and reliable operations would suffer.

“The big difference between here and stateside is that we do a lot of logistics moving supplies and equipment in and out of theater,” said Senior Master Sgt. Loren Green, the 379th ECES EOD flight superintendent. “Units in Afghanistan will coordinate what they need with U.S. Air Forces Central Command and if we have what they’re requesting, we’ll get it to them as soon as possible.”

Green said if they can’t support it, the request is forwarded to other AFCENT wings and eventually stateside.

Instead of the traditional combat role they fulfill in Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Joel Calahan, a 379th ECES EOD craftsman, added they’re also an essential element in the force protection mission here.

“It never gets old,” said Calahan. “We volunteered for this job – you can’t be assigned to EOD, not to mention the technical school is very hard and has a high dropout rate, so you really have to be committed.”

But after completing the 162 days of technical training, Green and Calahan said they get to play with a lot of the best equipment in the Air Force.

“We definitely have some of the coolest toys,” Green said. “That’s why I got into it in the first place.”

Staff Sgt. Joel Calahan practices with the control console of an explosive ordnance disposal robot, May 29 at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia. Calahan is a 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron EOD craftsman deployed from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

Joining the Air Force in 1996, fresh out of high school, Green, deployed here from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, said he couldn’t see himself doing anything else.

“When I first came in, we didn’t do nearly as much,” Green said. “Back then, we were pretty much an insurance policy and we all felt very under-utilized.”

Much has changed in the last 17 years, including the expeditionary nature of the U.S. military following the start of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
“Now we’re an essential part of the mission,” he said. “Especially in the deployed environment.”

As an EOD technician, Green and fellow technicians handle live explosives daily. Their job is to detect, identify, render safe, recover and dispose of unsafe explosives and ordnance, including conventional military ordnance; criminal and terrorist homemade items; and chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.

“I love blowing stuff up,” said Green, the Tampa Bay, Fla., native. “They pay me extra money to do it, too. You can’t beat that anywhere.”

EOD techs also have opportunities to work on the flightline during aircraft emergencies, on bombing ranges during range clearances, in munitions storage areas, in accident areas and in any other area or climate where an explosive hazard exists. They also analyze unknown munitions and explosives for exploitation and use by the intelligence agencies, and, in some cases, may provide protection to the president, vice president and other dignitaries in support of the United States Secret Service.

“We’re all confident in our job and love what we do,” said Calahan. “I can’t see doing anything else in the Air Force.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

AFAF gives all Airmen a chance to pay it forward

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Master Sgt. Dennis Hutchison, 57th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Tomahawks Aircraft Maintenance Unit production superintendent, fills out a pledge form for the 2015 Air Force Assi...
 
 
U.S. Army photo

First AF female general paves way for military women

U.S. Army photo Maj. Gen. Jeanne Holm, pictured here as an Army company commander in 1948, was the first woman to attend the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1949. Her awards include two Distingu...
 
 

Red Flag at 40: ISR, coalition integration at its best

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – LACKLAND, Texas — This year marks the 40th anniversary of Red Flag — the United States Air Force’s premiere air-to-air combat training exercise. For the last four decades it’s evolved and today it continues to hone the skills of its participants to meet current and future real world adversarial challenges. That...
 

 

799th SFS K9 handlers demonstrate military working dog skills, training

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Shad Eidson Senior Airman Dominick Young, 799th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, takes a bite from MWD Samuel, while his handler, Staff Sgt. Anique Brassard, 799th SFS, prepares to give the release command during a K9 demonstration March 2 inside the Indian Springs Elementary School’s gymnasium....
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

AMMO brings ‘boom’ to Red Flag

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Airman 1st Class Austin Woosley, left, 57th Maintenance Squadron Munitions Flight crew member, and Senior Airman Forrest Patten, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., 55th Maintenan...
 
 

SecAF introduces diversity initiatives

WASHINGTON — Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James kicked off Women’s History Month by speaking to attendees during the Center for a New American Security “Women and Leadership in National Security” conference in Washington, D.C., March 4, 2015.   “There’s simply no country in the world as widely diverse as the U.S.” James...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin