ORE can't defuse EOD
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- As the simulated attacks increase during the Phase II of the base operational readiness exercise the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal team is poised around the base to respond at a moment's notice.
After an attack, real or simulated, EOD is responsible for disarming all unexploded ordnance devices and moving them to a safe area. Once the attack is over, and it's determined the team can safely move from their location, they drive a predetermined route looking for UXOs, and collect and safely dispose of them.
Clearing the flightline of UXOs and getting the jets back in the air is top priority.
"As soon as an attack occurs we get to the airfield and recover any UXOs to clear the runway as quickly as possible," said Airman 1st class Anthony Donelan, 35th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal technician.
Donelan said since his team doesn't know what to expect during an exercise, they have to make sure they're ready for just about any situation.
"This exercise makes us think on our feet," Donelan said. "Normal day-to-day training is very different from when we're in exercise mode because we never know what's going to happen. We constantly study ordnance that could be used against us, so when we are faced with a situation we don't just stare at it, we know what it is."
In addition to being qualified to dispose of UXOs, EOD technicians are also trained extensively on self-aid and buddy care to assist bystanders who were injured during an attack. Disposal may be their specialty, but they don't hesitate to help anyone in need of medical care.
"If someone is injured, we immediately get into the mindset that we need to get that person care and to a safe location," said Donelan. "I love the feeling I get knowing I can help save peoples' lives."
Even though this is an exercise, Misawa Airmen train as though the attacks are real and the EOD technicians are ready and waiting for any situation.