EOD explodes with love for the job

  • Published
  • By Airman Alexis Grotz
  • 23 Wing Public Affairs
The sound of a bomb exploding is something many may not be used to hearing, but to explosive ordnance disposal members the sound is all too familiar.

EOD members have to be proficient in many different tasks for their job. Disarming an explosive and looking for hidden wires are the commonly known tasks, but they must also know about numerous types of explosives.

"We have to know how to use conventional explosives, ammunition, bio-chemical agents, nuclear munitions and weapons of mass destruction," said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Rockwood Bullard, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal journeyman. "We need to know how to handle really anything that explodes or could potentially hurt people."

The D in EOD is disposal; to dispose of an explosive there are specific steps that have to be taken to ensure everyone remains safe.

"There are different ways you have to dispose of an improvised explosive device," said Bullard. "We don't run IED operations the same state side as we do deployed. It all depends on where we are located and what the device is that we are disposing."

EOD trains to remain ready at a moment's notice and initial training to become EOD is roughly nine months long. Bullard says that Tuesdays and Thursdays are set aside every week as specific training days, but that training is done constantly not only on those days.

"Everything about this job is enjoyable," said Bullard. "The people are great. I get to work with some of the best people in the Air Force. This job lets us do things other people can't or wouldn't normally do."

Airmen in this field can expect to experience deployment more often than other jobs.

"Deploying more often than most jobs affects me a lot," said Staff Sgt. Daniel Esselstrom, 23d CES explosive ordnance disposal journeyman. "I'm married and we just had our first child so it makes it hard to be away from my family, but having a strong support system helps."

There are several different types of explosives that members of EOD need to know about, as well as how to handle them. Constant training ensures Airmen are ready to go whenever they are needed. No matter if they are state side or deployed the mission is known and they are always ready.