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EOD Airmen first to graduate Army air assault school

Senior Airman Daniel Giansanti, left, and Senior Airman Domenic Martino, both 386th Air Expeditionary Wing civil engineering squadron explosive ordnance disposal unit technicians, pose for a photo at U.S. Army Air Assault School at Camp Buehring, Kuwait on April 13, 2017. The graduation of the two Airmen from the 386th also serves as an unprecedented event, as this is the first time in history that Airmen have graduated from this particular course. (Courtesy photo)

Senior Airmen Daniel Giansanti (left) and Domenic Martino, both 386th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal technicians, take a break during U.S. Army Air Assault School at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, April 13, 2017. The two were the first Airmen in history to graduate from this particular course while serving on a contingency operation. (Courtesy photo)

Senior Airman Domenic Martino, a 386th Air Expeditionary Wing civil engineering squadron explosive ordnance disposal technician, shows the U.S. Army Air Assault School pin he received after graduating from the course. This course was only recently offered in the area of responsibility and Martino was one of the first Airmen to graduate from the course. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Park)

Senior Airman Domenic Martino, a 386th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal technician, shows the U.S. Army Air Assault School pin he received after graduating from the course insert date. This course was only recently offered in contingency locations and Martino was one of the first Airmen to graduate from the course. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Park)

A student repels from a UH-60 Blackhawk during training at the U.S. Army Air Assault School at Camp Buehring, Kuwait on April 13, 2017. The 10-day course teaches techniques for insertion, pathfinder and evacuation operations involving helicopters. (Courtesy photo)

A student rappels from a UH-60 Blackhawk during training at the U.S. Army Air Assault School at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, April 13, 2017. The 10-day course teaches techniques for insertion, pathfinder and evacuation operations involving helicopters. (Courtesy photo)

Two Airmen from the 386th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal unit graduated from the U.S. Army Air Assault School held at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, April 14, 2017.

The unprecedented graduation was the first time in history that Airmen, while serving on a contingency operation deployment, have graduated from this particular course.

Senior Airmen Domenic Martino and Daniel Giansanti, both 386th CES EOD technicians, attended the 10-day course where they learned techniques for troop insertion, landing zone set up and evacuation operations involving helicopters. These types of operations are typically used when operating behind enemy lines where vehicles and people must be moved quickly to ensure their safety, explained Martino.

“It was basically all attention to detail. That’s what they taught you throughout the course,” said Martino, who is deployed from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. “I caught up on it pretty quickly because throughout my EOD school it was all about attention to detail.”

The Army recently began offering the course to U.S. Army Central Command area of responsibility service members and accepted its first students at the beginning of April 2017.

Over the duration of the course, Martino and Giansanti learned techniques such as combat assault, sling load operations, where they set up helicopter carry loads, and rappelling operations.

“There are so many fine details you have to look at in each inspection,” Martino explained. “It could be a single link count in the chains and if you’re one off, then that’s it; it’s a discrepancy or deficiency.”

The 386th CES sent the two Airmen based on their demonstrated proficiency and professionalism in their work, said Master Sgt. Travis Hughes, a 386th CES EOD flight chief deployed from Seymour Johnson AFB.

Attending this course will help the Airmen and their teams better perform in a variety of austere locations required to complete the wing’s mission.

“Part of our mission set is to support Army teams, and what we’ve found over the last few years is that we have to prepare our guys for these types of mission sets,” said Hughes. “We have to make sure our guys can safely respond to incidents that require an air insert. Getting them to this course allows them to get that foundation so that when we have to respond via air insert, they can work safely around the aircraft.”

On a more personal level, Martino said he felt that graduating from this challenging course was yet another major milestone he reached in his military career. And it is one he is particularly proud of.

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