Technicians undergo explosive training

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Gustavo Castillo
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Threats to the United States come in many forms and degrees. They are real, and they happen every day.

One flight in the 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron trains to eliminate those threats to the best of their abilities: the Explosive Ordnance Disposal flight. The flight works to mitigate any risk of damage or injury to American and friendly assets.

EOD Airmen neutralize hazards of conventional unexploded ordnance, nuclear, biological, chemical and associated materials of mass destruction, in order to reduce or eliminate the threat to people, operations or material.

"We provide an emergency service a lot like medical or fire does," said Tech Sgt. Ryan Tennyson, 52nd CES EOD technician from Norwich, Conn. "When there is an emergency there are only certain people you can call. Our specialty is narrow; you need someone who does have the training and the ability to do it."

Often attached to an infantry unit down-range, or a home-station squadron, the dangerous aspects of an EOD technician's job require a large amount of time and effort for training to ensure mission success.

"We accomplish this mission by maintaining a constant state of readiness through regular training," said Staff Sgt. Brook Hamilton, 52nd CES EOD technician from Phoenix. "Each month is dedicated to training on a different mission set. We have to maintain maximum proficiency with our skill sets or it could cost us our lives."

Working with advanced technology ranging from bomb suits to robots, the EOD flight trains to perfection because in their line of work, there is no room for failure. Just one small slip could cause catastrophic damage to themselves or the people they protect.

These technicians are the only Airmen trained to combat these explosive threats to lives, equipment and property.

Although an EOD Airman endures a rigorous training schedule to accomplish these tasks that could potentially have a severe impact on Airmen and missions of all levels, some believe that the less glory, the better.

"I hope the base populace gets a warm fuzzy for us being here," said Hamilton. "I think for the most part they don't know who we are or what we do, which in my eyes means we're doing something right."

Thinking about the intense training and risk that comes with the label of an EOD technician, most would think they are insane to do this job every day. For them, it is just another day and another job well done.

"I love my job," he said. "It's incredibly challenging, and I am constantly pushing myself to be the best I can be. The best part of the job is the hands on aspect of it, actually going out and doing something rather than sitting in an office every day. Of course going and blowing things up is pretty cool, too."