War on Terrorism

Friday, July 23, 2010

EOD Leadership Discuss Counter-IED Efforts

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Michael R. Hinchcliffe, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The commodores from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Groups (EODGRU) 1 and 2 participated in a phone interview with Pentagon and trade press media July 22 to discuss EOD's support to the Maritime Strategy.

Capt. Ted Lucas, commodore of EODGRU 1, based in San Diego, and Capt. Dale Fleck, commodore of EODGRU 2, based in Virginia Beach, Va., answered questions regarding an array of subjects including the training of EOD forces; updating training for EOD technicians to best counter enemy tactics, techniques and procedures; current equipment used; and different types of missions.

Each EOD Group is responsible for EOD Mobile Units that are trained and proficient in the use of various small arms and tactics to disarming bombs, and neutralizing improvised explosive devices (IED), landmines, and weapons of mass destruction, often while under the fire of enemy forces.

"Members of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5 are providing Command and Control for counter-IED forces in southern Afghanistan," said Lucas.

Both Lucas and Fleck explained that the proactive approach EOD Sailors have with identifying new enemy tactics enables their training to be up to date, and the technicians to be ahead of the threats.

"We respond to an incident, then we analyze the scene and the materials that were involved," said Fleck. "Reports are generated and quickly passed through the operational force channels in case something new is identified."

"I can tell you that when my troops go to Iraq and Afghanistan they're the best trained, best qualified EOD technicians that the U.S. Navy has to offer," Lucas added.

When asked about the retention of EOD technicians, Fleck said the retention rate among his Sailors has been good due to the training EOD Sailors receive and also the missions EOD Sailors are able to undertake.

"I think it's the quality of the people we get; they really want to do this type of work," said Fleck. "It is very important to keep our EOD technicians in the community, to gain the experience so we can continue to keep our team strong."

"Our Sailors believe what they're doing is important and they continue to be the foundation of our strength," said Lucas. "They are some of the brightest and best Americans in our Navy service."

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