HomeNewsArticle Display

EOD Airmen take on Warfighter Challenge

EOD Warfighter Challenge

Airman 1st Class Jace Zook, left, and Tech. Sgt. Jesse Wibben, both 48th Civil Engineer Squadron Airmen, assess the bomb inside a car trunk during the Warfighter Challenge May 9, 2018 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Eglin AFB-based exercise provides Airmen the chance to experience EOD problem-solving scenarios and network with others in the career field to help improve the mission. The challenge was created by Eglin AFB’s EOD flight Airmen last year as a week-long training exercise. The interest and success of the event forced the coordinators to add another week of training to meet the demand. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)

EOD Warfighter Challenge

An explosive ordnance disposal Airman performs a sweep of the area with a metal detector during the Warfighter Challenge May 9, 2018, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Eglin AFB-based exercise provides Airmen the chance to experience EOD problem-solving scenarios and network with others in the career field to help improve the mission. The challenge was created by Eglin AFB’s EOD flight Airmen last year as a week-long training exercise. The interest and success of the event forced the coordinators to add another week of training to meet the demand. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)

EOD Warfighter Challenge

An explosive ordnance disposal Airman uses a rope to pull a suspicious package away from its location during the Warfighter Challenge May 2, 2018, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Eglin AFB-based exercise provides Airmen the chance to experience EOD problem-solving scenarios and network with others in the career field to help improve the mission. The challenge was created by Eglin AFB’s EOD flight Airmen last year as a week-long training exercise. The interest and success of the event forced the coordinators to add another week of training to meet the demand. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)

EOD Warfighter Challenge

An explosive ordnance disposal Airman tries to free a victim from a collar bomb during the Warfighter Challenge May 2, 2018, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Eglin AFB-based exercise provides Airmen the chance to experience EOD problem-solving scenarios and network with others in the career field to help improve the mission. The challenge was created by Eglin AFB’s EOD flight Airmen last year as a week-long training exercise. The interest and success of the event forced the coordinators to add another week of training to meet the demand. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)

EOD Warfighter Challenge

An explosive ordnance disposal Airman checks suspicious wires sticking out of the ground during the Warfighter Challenge May 9, 2018, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Eglin AFB-based exercise provides Airmen the chance to experience EOD problem-solving scenarios and network with others in the career field to help improve the mission. The challenge was created by Eglin AFB’s EOD flight Airmen last year as a week-long training exercise. The interest and success of the event forced the coordinators to add another week of training to meet the demand. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)

EOD Warfighter Challenge

Explosive ordnance disposal Airmen provide medical aid to a team member during the Warfighter Challenge May 3, 2018, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Eglin AFB-based exercise provides Airmen the chance to experience EOD problem-solving scenarios and network with others in the career field to help improve the mission. The challenge was created by Eglin AFB’s EOD flight Airmen last year as a week-long training exercise. The interest and success of the event forced the coordinators to add another week of training to meet the demand. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)

EOD Warfighter Challenge

An explosive ordnance disposal Airman finds the edges of a buried bomb during the Warfighter Challenge May 2, 2018, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Eglin AFB-based exercise provides Airmen the chance to experience EOD problem-solving scenarios and network with others in the career field to help improve the mission. The challenge was created by Eglin AFB’s EOD flight Airmen last year as a week-long training exercise. The interest and success of the event forced the coordinators to add another week of training to meet the demand. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)

EOD Warfighter Challenge

An explosive ordnance disposal Airman peeks around a door while inspecting a building during the Warfighter Challenge May 2, 2018, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Eglin AFB-based exercise provides Airmen the chance to experience EOD problem-solving scenarios and network with others in the career field to help improve the mission. The challenge was created by Eglin AFB’s EOD flight Airmen last year as a week-long training exercise. The interest and success of the event forced the coordinators to add another week of training to meet the demand. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)

EOD Warfighter Challenge

Explosive ordnance disposal Airmen begin to move a team member during the Warfighter Challenge May 3, 2018, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Eglin AFB-based exercise provides Airmen the chance to experience EOD problem-solving scenarios and network with others in the career field to help improve the mission. The challenge was created by Eglin AFB’s EOD flight Airmen last year as a week-long training exercise. The interest and success of the event forced the coordinators to add another week of training to meet the demand. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)

EOD Warfighter Challenge
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 10 of 10

An explosive ordnance disposal Airman talks with his teammate about a possible suspicious package during the Warfighter Challenge May 2, 2018, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Eglin AFB-based exercise provides Airmen the chance to experience EOD problem-solving scenarios and network with others in the career field to help improve the mission. The challenge was created by Eglin AFB’s EOD flight Airmen last year as a week-long training exercise. The interest and success of the event forced the coordinators to add another week of training to meet the demand. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- Boom!

A three-person explosive ordnance disposal team approached a bomb-laden vehicle with two hostages inside. As they reach the car, a hidden device explodes damaging the leg of one of their own. What does the team do next?

This was just one of many difficult scenarios EOD Airmen encountered during this year’s EOD Warfighter Challenge at Eglin Air Force Base.

The two-week, situation-based challenge was created last year by the 96th Civil Engineer Group’s EOD flight Airmen. The Airmen provided the unique opportunity for Air Force EOD units, outside of pre-deployment training, to train and learn from each other. The training preceded then followed in two rotations, the annual EOD Memorial ceremony at the Naval EOD School May 5, 2018.

More than 90 Airmen from over 20 Air Force EOD units attended during the two weeks. The unit interest and success of last year’s week-long event were greater than expected.

“The response was so overwhelming we needed another week to handle the demand,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Burke, EOD Warfighter Challenge creator with the 96th Civil Engineer Squadron.

The event’s goal was to hone the Airmen’s EOD and problem-solving skills with new environments, setups, gear and situations they may never see while training at their home station. Eglin AFB’s range area, formally used to train deploying security forces Airmen, was the site of the urban and village environments of the scenarios.

“The more realistic and challenging we can make the situations, the more the Airmen will take away from it and remember when it is real,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Bodner, 96th EOD flight.

Another goal of the Warfighter Challenge was to provide opportunities for upgrading Airmen to perform in lead positions within the EOD team of three.

“You have to see the situation differently and think about the whole team and what actions are required to keep not just yourself, but your team safe. I hadn’t seen that side of it until now,” said Senior Airman Aaron Parris, 633rd Civil Engineer Squadron, who acted as an EOD team lead for the first time during the exercise.

The teams encountered at least three scenarios per day. There were multiple improvised explosive device problems within each scenario the Airmen would solve along with human elements and equipment limitations. Each situation had numerous ways to solve each problem. It fell to the Airmen to determine the best and safest solution.

The situations varied from pressure plates to a pipe-bomb around a victim’s neck, to vehicle-borne IEDs, road-side bombs and a mock-electronics store filled with so many electrical parts that anything could be an IED. There was also a scenario with a simulated-bomb strapped to a non-English speaking victim. In that situation, the victim would franticly try, but could not provide the EOD technician any information to help them.

The mental and physical puzzles of the scenario training were only part of the Warfighter Challenge. The networking effects of one of the largest gatherings of EOD Airmen at once had rippling effects through the career field.

Attendees passed along various personal and unit-related lessons learned, equipment benefits and countless ways of mission improvement. That newly-gained, know-how is taken back and passed along and implemented.

At last year’s event for example, a piece of equipment for the technicians’ night vision was deemed a ‘must have’ by the exercise’s attendees. The request was processed and with a few months, the new gear was added to the standard equipment required for all Air Force EOD technicians.

“This is larger for us than just these exercises. There’s so much more being accomplished,” said Capt. Cory McCart, Eglin AFB’s EOD flight commander. “We are helping to improve the Airmen who attend and by extension their units, the career field and our mission as a whole.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Partnerships are fundamental to executing the mission. Working with and learning from our partner nations @NATO -- togeth…
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: The 2021 #ENJJPT Steering Committee is happening at @SheppardAFB this week! Excited to continue our partnership to deliver…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: This is Capt Eric Johnson. He was critical to the reception, care, feeding and bed down of more than 30,000 vulnerable Af…
Twitter
.@UnderSecAF Gina Ortiz Jones met with @USAFReserve Airmen to discuss the @DeptofDefense COVID-19 vaccination direc… https://t.co/9y28hmcMir
Twitter
Join Department of the Air Force senior leaders for a live, virtual town hall discussing the Racial Disparity Revie… https://t.co/6Z7N6QIuLP
Twitter
The U.S. Special Operations School, in collaboration with @HQUSAFEAFAF hosted the bi-annual European Partnership Fl… https://t.co/egAlljufL3
Twitter
Join Department of the Air Force senior leaders for a virtual town hall discussing the Racial Disparity Review tomo… https://t.co/s4XfTyCwEY
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: Polish Aviation Integration 🇵🇱 The U.S. and #Poland will conduct Agile Combat Employment training during the bilateral av…
Twitter
.@TeamTyndall's 325th Munitions Squadron has a unique capability - it's the only #AirForce Munitions Squadron certi… https://t.co/RMmTapKK3F
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Today marks the beginning of National #HispanicHeritageMonth! Visit our Spotlight page at https://t.co/Lhe9Hxc454 to lea…
Twitter
Hear why this #Airman chose to get vaccinated. @SecAFOfficial directed the COVID-19 vaccine implementation guideli… https://t.co/TFpjBtHUuq
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: U.S. Air Force and #Slovenian Armed Forces leaders met to discuss bilateral operations and interoperability during a visit…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: Great visit with Airmen of the @459arw to discuss vaccination. The vaccine is the best tool we have to fight #COVID19. Our…
Twitter
Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole, the last of the Doolittle Raiders, was honored and posthumously promoted to the rank… https://t.co/ayQ88HVUQI
Twitter
The 55th Communications Squadron at Offutt AFB, Nebraska, was redesignated as the 55th Cyber Squadron recently. The… https://t.co/8DqPyZc8a6
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: I’m proud of Airmen like SrA DeQuire accelerating change in our #AirForce. Challenge the status quo and continue to be bo…
Twitter
#AirForce senior leaders will host a town hall to discuss Leadership and the Family during #ASC21. The session will… https://t.co/Fsn63QAWtY
Twitter
Lt. Col. John “Karl” Marks, an @USAFReserve pilot, made history as the only pilot to reach 7,000 hours in the A-10C… https://t.co/qY7eKfs6ks
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: Enjoyed meeting with @MDNG Airmen of the 175th Wing. We talked about getting the mission done and getting #vaccinated. We c…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Anytime, Anywhere requires us to be ready at all times. Mandatory vaccination deadlines: Nov 2 – Active Duty personnel…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,375,778
Follow Us