JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. –
Explosives Ordinance Disposal technicians from around the U.S. Air Force participated in an EOD training scenario Aug. 8-9, 2017 during Operation Llama Fury 3.0 at Joint Base Langley-Eustis.
The two-day event aimed to further the standardization of EOD training and evaluations through a conventional exercise setting.
The practical scenario involved an EOD technician who received a call from a local law enforcement officer, saying that a case of dynamite was found in a large field near a shed that once belong to a deceased man. The officer also said that the dynamite was covered in crystallized nitroglycerin and that there were natural gas lines running underneath the shed.
According to U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Segerlund, 23rd Civil Engineer Squadron EOD technician and team lead, the case of dynamite was dangerous due to the sensitivity of the crystalized nitroglycerin.
“Old ordinance or old hazardous items being left after relatives pass is something that happens a lot,” said Segerlund. “(My Airmen) haven’t had much experience yet. Being able to get their feet wet without actually putting their lives in danger is incredible; it was really good training and I hope it continues.”
The practical exercise was one of four different scenarios Operation Llama Fury offered. There were also nuclear, chemical and improvised explosive device scenarios conducted. Each of the seven teams from three Air Force major commands and bases across the East Coast, including Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina; Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina; Joint Base Andrews, Maryland; Patrick Air Force Base, Florida; Dover Air Force Base, Delaware; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; and Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, participated in the exercise with the Norfolk, Virginia, Police Bomb Squad.
“I thought this was a great way to get them training on a scenario that’s very possible, but not a lot of technicians have come across within the career field. They learned a lot to take back to their units and integrate into their training programs,” said U.S Air Force Tech. Sgt. Isiah Armstrong, 23rd CES EOD section chief, quality assurance and training. “Across the career field we now can spread this knowledge and become better and provide safety and security for military as well as civilian populations.”
According to Staff Sergeant Timothy Donnan, 633rd Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal team leader, UXOs are dangerous no matter what state they're in and EOD technicians or local bomb squads should handle the potential danger that may impact the local area.
“At some point Virginia has either been a battlefield or a bombing range so there were many UXOs in the community,” said Donnan. “Civil War, Revolutionary War and modern day UXOs were still found in this area, so it's very important to get the word out that we are here.”