War on Terrorism

Monday, February 13, 2012

Kuwait: Army Guard members try unique mission of “disposing”

34th Red Bull Infantry Division Courtesy report

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait (2/13/12) -- Recently, military police Soldiers from the Tennessee Army National Guard’s 268th Military Police Company were selected as part of a unique Explosive Ordinance Disposal mission that very few Soldiers have the opportunity to experience.

The Soldiers from the 268th MP Company were assigned to the EOD mission for five months. During that time, the Soldiers were afforded the chance to gain valuable and exciting experience working with trained EOD technicians tasked with destruction of ammunition and explosives that have become damaged or otherwise not suitable to retain in the inventory.

The MP Soldiers assigned to the detail were responsible for the safe preparation of “shot holes,” - the manner in which selected explosives are positioned for safe destruction, either by burning or by detonating with explosives.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the job was that “they [EOD Cadre] trusted us enough – as non- EOD techs – to prepare our own shot holes,” said Army Spc. Charles Smith, a member of the 268th MP Company. “It says a lot about us as Soldiers.”

The MPs were able to learn highly technical aspects of handling explosive in a short amount of time. The Soldiers learned the proper methods of preparing explosives and detonating devices safely and efficiently.

Smith, having no prior experience with explosives, said “I learned enough to want to join an EOD unit” upon reenlistment.

Army Sgt. Daniel Rowden, a fellow Soldier assigned to the 268th MP Company echoed the sentiment.

It was the “opportunity of a lifetime, especially for an MP. The relationships were inspiring, and we looked forward to going to work every day,” he said.

In addition to destroying dangerous munitions, the Soldiers were also responsible for checking training areas for unexploded ordinance in order to ensure a safe training environment for Soldiers assigned to the area.

Despite the heavy physical demands of the job, the Soldiers thoroughly enjoyed the work. “It’s a lot of work, but when you hear the boom, it’s worth it,” Rowden said.

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