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NEWS | July 13, 2015

EOD techs sharpen their individual skills as they prepare for real world missions

By Story by Sgt. Erick Yates 200th Military Police Command

HOHENFELS, Germany - On this cloudy, chilly Sunday June morning, U.S. and Moldovan military units conduct unexploded ordnance training in the constructed training areas at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center here.

The 666th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, from Jacksonville, Alabama and troops from the Moldovan military performed various training scenarios dealing with explosive and unexploded ordnance to include improvised explosive devices.

Assigned with the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, the 666th EOD Company is at the JMRC to prepare for a security and peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.

As with other units that come through the JMRC, the 666th EOD Company has to make sure all members on the team are working on their skill levels to ensure proficiency is maintained. Training here has been beneficial, said one EOD technician. This facility provides knowledgeable trainers and necessary equipment needed for effective training, he said.

With valuable tools and equipment as well as multiple training sites provided by the JRMC, this EOD unit has been able to put in hours of hands on training enabling them to use tactics and techniques that help limit the close contact one normally has with explosive ordnance. Having the teams working closely together minimizes risks and builds the team camaraderie and improves upon each member’s strengths by helping to develop leadership skills needed for this mission, the unit commander said.

In turn these types of team building concepts can be passed on to the Kosovo police and other Kosovo security forces by U.S. EOD teams to help continue fostering the multinational partnership process.

The 666th EOD team’s main mission in Kosovo will be to provide on base response to all explosive hazards and incidents and also provide support to EOD counterparts in Kosovo. In short, the team will be using their knowledge to act as an advisory role for the Kosovo police, said the unit commander.

Throughout the morning Soldiers with the 666th EOD Company conducted lengthy drills that included finding land mines, hook and line training and helping a wounded Soldier after being severely injured by an antipersonnel land mine.

One of the key strategies for this training is to help the team observe the entire scene being responded to and learn to avoid the tendency for tunnel vision. 

The goal for the unit during this exercise is take the extra time to get excellent training while all the while trying to build new team leaders. We are also providing the opportunity for the team members to work with multinational counterparts and learn new methods of instruction that they might do in future training events or in real life situations, said the unit commander.