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.


 
 

 
1000-hours

Pilot reaches milestone, achieves 1000 flight hours

Maj. Matt Allen, a 706th Reserve Squadron full-time air reserve technician who is assigned to the 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron as an F-22 test director, stands by an F-22 Raptor before flight July 21, at Nellis Air Force B...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Fuels management flight takes on Red Flag 14-3 full force

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Senior Airman Daniel Millard, 419th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels journeyman, prepares to fuel an aircraft participating in Red Flag 14-3, July 22, at Nellis Air Force...
 
 
raptors1

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 

 

Air Force announces changes to headquarters organization

WASHINGTON — Air Force leaders announced changes to headquarters staff manning and organization July 14. The Air Force will create efficiencies by deactivating and realigning organizations at Headquarters Air Force, Major Commands, Numbered Air Forces and Field Operating Agencies, resulting in savings of $1.6 billion across the Air Force in the next five years. “I...
 
 

LEAP application window opens

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. — The Language Enabled Airman Program is accepting active-duty officer and enlisted applications July 15 – Aug. 22. Those intending to submit applications must register their intent to apply by Aug. 8. Officer candidate students in their senior years may also apply. LEAP is a career-spanning program to identify, develop and...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Young

Red Flag 14-3 just days away

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Young An F-15E Strike Eagle flies alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker while waiting for its wingman to finish refueling during Red Flag 14-2 March 13 over the Nevada Test and Training R...
 




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