TACOMA, WA –
U.S. Army Reserve Spc. Noah Hunter with the 475th Engineer Detachment, (Explosive Hazards Coordination Cell), 412th Theater Engineer Command (TEC) wants the best of both worlds: to see the big picture, but also be skillset focused.
“Right now, I’m here just trying to sharpen my skills as a combat engineer.” said Hunter, in regards to the training his unit was participating in at the moment that was doing just that.
Hunter and his fellow Soldiers in the “The Krakens”, as the unit is nicknamed, were at the Joint Warfighting Assessment (JWA) 2019. JWA2019 was a U.S. and multinational military exercise held at the Yakima Training Center and Joint Base Lewis-‐McChord, Washington, Apr. 26, 2019, to May 10, 2019.
“The Krakens are training on the latest threats as part of their overall force protection and assured mobility mission.” said Lt. Col. Bart Kemper, the 475th EHCC, commander.
Before joining the military, Hunter wasn’t satisfied with his education; he wanted something more. “I tried traditional college. It wasn’t for me,” said Hunter. “I joined the Army Reserve in 2015, looking for a challenge. I noticed the combat engineer MOS and it appealed to me.”
Hunter admits that demolitions are apart of the allure, but it wasn’t all of it. The different skillsets of a combat engineer and their unique picture also drew him in. Hunter later moved from Des Moines, Iowa to Biloxi, Mississippi for a structural welding apprentice program at Ingalls Shipyard, where the found the 475th EHCC. The EHCC’s mission drew Hunter in, giving him the opportunity to learn about the skills and coordination required to mitigate and defeat explosive threats.
“I’ve always been very specific in my mission, but the EHCC is my chance to get a look at the big picture and how everything ties together“ said Hunter.
The 475th’s official mission is to receive and track explosive hazard, (EH) incidents or information; maintain the land mine database; analyze EH incidents for patterns and give technical advice to land component commanders to mitigate EHs within the Theater and Joint Operations Area (JOA).
“The heart of the mission,” said Kemper. “Is working those relationships in order to reduce the threat. Our skill set is the same no matter what, but what we deliver to the force depends on what the EH threat is and the needs of the commander.”
The Army Reserve stood up the 475th in October 2017, making it the first enduring federal EHCC with this unique mission. JWA2019 gave the Hunter and the Krakens the best of both worlds, mission focus on their individual skill sets and a better insight to weaving a network of information, before and after the boom.The475th is seeking combat engineers E5-‐E7,engineer captains and majors, and MI captains. Their facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/475EHCC/