Explosives Hazards Coordination Cell activated

By Sgt. 1st Class Clinton Wood | 412th Theater Engineer Command | Nov. 1, 2017

VICKSBURG, Miss. — Lt. Col. Clarence B. Kemper, III assumed command of the U.S. Army Reserve 475th Engineer Detachment (Explosive Hazards Coordination Cell) during an activation ceremony held at the George A. Morris U.S. Army Reserve Center, Oct. 22, 2017. The EHCC’s mission is to combat and mitigate the hazards of roadside bombs, unexploded ordnance and minefields.

The 475th EHCC under the 412th Theater Engineer Command (TEC) based in Vicksburg, the only unit of its kind in the Army Reserve, accomplishes its mission by coordinating with other units to conduct site investigations and “blow in place” clearance missions as well as training other U.S. forces and foreign military units.

“What we are doing is something new,” said Kemper. “All the previous EHCCs were stood up for specific deployments and when they came back they were disbanded. Because we were not stood up rapidly, we can obtain additional training and depth of experience that makes us more valuable.”

Bringing more than a decades worth of engineer experience to the table, Kemper is eager to lead a unit of this specialty. “You had me at boom,” said Kemper.

“If you need a guy that understands explosive devices; how they work and how they don’t work, that is the guy,” said Brig. Gen. (P) Daniel J. Christian, TEC Commander.

“Building up the 475th is going to take some time and energy,” said Christian. “It’s a very specific skillset. The people are out there, just not very many of them.”

Kemper acknowledged the difficulty and said he is up to the challenge. “We will be successful sir, Essayons.”

Another example of how America’s Army Reserve is building the most capable, combat-ready, and lethal federal reserve force in the history of the Nation.