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.


 
 

 
police5

99th SFS honors fallen wingmen during National Police Week

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Airmen assigned to the 99th Security Forces Squadron participate in a 10K memorial ruck march for National Police Week at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., May 13. The march was one of...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen

Dispelling remotely piloted aircraft myths

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III conducts an all-call with the men and women of the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Creech Air Force Ba...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Yokota aircrew recounts Nepal earthquake

Courtesy photo Members of the U.S. Air Force view the damage in Nepal firsthand following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that damaged many parts of the country. KATHMANDU, Nepal— We were tasked with taking an 11-man...
 

 
EOD6

IEDs, UXOs no problem for EOD

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jake Carter Senior Airman Kalin Fuller, 99th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal journeyman looks out from inside his bomb suit at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., May 13. Be...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Maintenance shop saves $9 Million through innovative process

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Curtis Klitzka, 547th Intelligence Squadron sheet metal painter, uses a drill to attach a roof to a golf cart at the Threat Training Facility Maintenance Shop on Nellis Air...
 
 
Golf2

Disabled veterans discover ‘Hope’ through golf program

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Participants in the Professional Golfers’ Association of America Hope Program practice their swing at the driving range on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., May 14. The PGA Ho...
 




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