No rushing: Slow is smooth, smooth is fast for EOD

  • Published
  • By Capt. Logan Clark
  • 166th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Airmen with the explosive ordnance disposal flight at the 166th Airlift Wing teamed up with the base’s emergency management Airmen to conduct a joint exercise operation here April 7.

Three Airmen with the EOD flight conducted a two-part exercise: identifying, decontaminating and sealing a dummy munition, overseen and graded by EOD; and a decontamination protocol, overseen by emergency management Airmen.

Why the two-pronged effort? The exercise munition was also a “chemical” threat, requiring isolation and decontamination, also giving emergency management a chance to flex their “decon” muscles.

The EOD mission had several requirements, including creating a space to decontaminate both Airmen as well as the munition and a space to seal the munition, identifying the ordnance, and safely disposing of it. In this case, the disposal was an isolation rather than destruction.

Staff Sgts. Seth Kohn and Dominic Buckmuse were the “downrange” team, setting up the area and sealing off the munition. Staff Sgt. Todd Glessner was the team leader, overseeing the “downrange” Airmen and providing critical information for the team to safely dispose of the dummy munition.

This was the final requirement for Glessner to become a certified team leader, as well as earning his senior level badge. His flight leadership conducted an impromptu ceremony after the exercise to award his new hardware.

“We have awesome guys; people who are motivated, people who are problem solvers,” said Glessner about his time with the 166th EOD flight.

Kohn agreed. “I love this job,” he said.

For Tech Sgt. John Mayhoff, the emergency manager for the 166th Airlift Wing, this exercise was slightly out of the ordinary.

“We train a lot with our shop and the technical decontamination system, but it was unique to work with EOD in that they brought a munition through the “decon” line,” said Mayhoff. “We got some of our newer Airmen experience both working with another unit, as well as working with the decontamination equipment.”

The emergency management team guided the EOD Airmen through the decontamination process, ensuring they are able to handle a potential chemical or biological threat.

Some of the Airmen with the EOD flight have supported the active duty units in Germany. The flight is also responsible for supporting several counties and units in Pennsylvania, including Fort Indiantown Gap.

Emergency management is also responsible for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) training for the installation, as well as managing the Emergency Operations Center.