EOD team training can save soldiers lives against the threats of Improvised Explosive Devices IEDs

6th Annual Counter-IEDs Conference
London, United Kingdom
30 - 31 May 2012
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Thursday, February 9, 2012, 01:03 PM
EOD team training can save soldiers lives against the threats of Improvised Explosive Devices IEDs.
With millions of unexploded ordinance in and around Iraq, insurgents have the opportunity to use them against coalition forces as IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device) if not found and properly destroyed. On Forward Operating Base Marez, Mosul, Iraq, the 752nd Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team does their part by detonating stock piles so they do not fall into enemy hands.

"Our job is to detonate unexploded ordinance that have been collected throughout the week in the Mosul area," said Staff Sgt. Andrew Graham, Explosive Disposer Team Leader, 752nd EOD, and native of Buena Park, Calif.

According to Graham, the team calls in advance and receives orders from higher headquarters to destroy the UXO's at the Marez range.

"Terrorists can be very creative with trying to put together explosives to use against coalition forces," said Graham.

Graham has been in EOD for over six years, and has been deployed since January 2006. EOD work in two men teams.

According to Graham when we leave the wire all we have is two personnel in the vehicle and a security team that escorts us.

"They escort us to ensure we are safe so we don't have to worry about the enemy," said Sgt Dereck Jenkins, EOD Team Member. "We love those security escort guys to death, they are the best that we got going for us, and they watch our backs more than anyone else."

"The main reason is for safety, the equipment we wear is a more of an illusion of safety but the real safety we have is the knowledge that we apply to our jobs," said Jenkins.

"I think we have made a large impact in Mosul as far as helping render safe, keeping military supply routes open, and completing our primary responsibility," said Graham.

"Also the evidence that we have recovered has been valuable to investigative teams out looking to find Improvised Explosive Device builders, and the people that support building IED's."