EOD hosts IED training

Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Dickson, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician from the 18th Civil Engineer Squadron, uses a metal detector during an Improvised Explosive Device training event on Kadena Air Base, Japan, May 26, 2021. Dickson used a metal detector after the IED had detonated, to conduct a post-blast assessment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Yosselin Perla)
Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Dickson, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician from the 18th Civil Engineer Squadron, uses a metal detector during an Improvised Explosive Device training event on Kadena Air Base, Japan, May 26, 2021. Dickson used a metal detector after the IED had detonated, to conduct a post-blast assessment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Yosselin Perla)

EOD hosts IED training

by Airman 1st Class Yosselin Perla
18 Wing Public Affairs

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal flight conducted a training event to hone their skills in responding to wartime Improvised Explosive Devices at Kadena Air Base, Japan, May 26-27, 2021.

The exercise simulated a deployed jungle environment, with an emphasis on conducting IED response operations, covering a wide range of scenarios, including route clearances, combat life-saving skills, vehicle-borne IEDs, intelligence gathering, a narcotics and explosives factory raid and responding to a hostage recovery situation.

"By doing this large training event, we are simulating the wartime environment to the utmost capacity,” said Staff Sgt. Preston Brooks, 18th CES EOD training staff. “We are employing procedures that we would use if we were in a deployed environment, as well as using a lot of the tools and techniques that we normally wouldn’t use in a permissive or peacetime environment.”

While employing procedures used in a deployed environment, EOD also partnered with military working dog teams to conduct more holistic training.

"We worked with the K-9 unit because they also have an explosives mission, so integrating them into our training and figuring out where they can support our mission is very beneficial,” said Staff Sgt. Branden George, 18th CES EOD training staff.

In addition to working with a K-9 unit, EOD also worked with other members throughout the CEG to sharpen their communication skills.

The volunteers acted as witnesses during the exercise, finding suspicious items by using ground sign awareness and calling in their finds using a proper UXO IED 9-line — a style of radio report — allowing EOD members to train more realistically, George explained.

Constant training allows EOD members to stay ready at a moment's notice for any situation that may present itself, even if the situation is unlikely to take place here.

“Our primary mission at Kadena is to support base operations,” Brooks said. “Generally that means providing support to aircraft, but we also respond to conventional ordnances found, as well as suspicious packages. This training reinforced our capabilities that we otherwise wouldn’t employ here; it left us more capable in our critical thinking and in knowing how to employ our tools, techniques and procedures.”

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