HomeNewsArticle Display

Augmenting the AOR: EOD Airman provides critical skillset to Army forensics team

Master Sgt. Michael Breive, Forensic Exploitation Laboratory – CENTCOM non-commissioned officer in charge, prepares to photograph a piece of evidence June 27, 2018 at the FXL-C lab, located on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Breive is the sole Airman at the FXL-C office, serving in a joint expeditionary tasked and individual augmentee role. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Stoltz)

Master Sgt. Michael Breive, Forensic Exploitation Laboratory – CENTCOM non-commissioned officer in charge, prepares to photograph a piece of evidence June 27, 2018 at the FXL-C lab, located on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Breive is the sole Airman at the FXL-C office, serving in a joint expeditionary tasked and individual augmentee role. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Stoltz)

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait (AFNS) -- This story is part of the JET/IA “Augmenting the AOR” series, covering the unique missions and skill sets Airmen provide to coalition and sister-service mission partners throughout the deployed area of responsibility.

Visiting the Central Command Forensic Exploitation Laboratory, located at Camp Arifjan, is an experience similar to watching a television show like ‘CSI’ or ‘NCIS,’ at least in appearance. From particle separators to a ballistics lab, the location seems to have everything a team would need to crack the case, solve the crime and ride off into the sunset.

However, according to Master Sgt. Michael Breive, Forensic Exploitation Laboratory – CENTCOM noncommissioned officer in charge, television shows are not even close to capturing the uniqueness of their mission, the team dynamic, or how much work there is to accomplish.

“This is nothing like the TV shows where one or two characters solves the case alone,” Breive said. “It is a team effort where every single person brings something unique and important to the table. There are multiple supporting roles that all have a hand in processing just one piece of evidence. And unlike television, we produce real-world results.”

Breive, who serves as an explosive ordnance disposal technician from the 99th Civil Engineer Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, said this deployment is a much welcomed change of pace. Instead of suiting up and disarming improvised explosive devices, he is lending his near-decade of experience to FXL-C by overseeing the activities of the forensics laboratory.

“As an EOD Airman, we are usually the ones out there in the field,” he said. “We don’t usually get a chance to see the ‘behind-the-scenes’ action that happens after we collect a sample, or finish our job.”

According to Army Maj. Allen Spence, FXL-C officer in charge, Breive’s role isn’t just important – it is paramount for his office’s success. He said Breive is responsible for conducting forensic exploitation of all captured enemy material throughout the CENTCOM area of responsibility. Furthermore, he is directly responsible for the safety of the lab itself and all of the personnel, allowing his team to direct all focus on processing evidence for forensics and intel.

Spence said the results his team provides helps investigators across the Department of Defense identify the contents of an explosive by detecting trace elements of materials. This helps the investigative teams identify patterns and determine if the explosives are being made by the same person or persons. He also stressed the importance of a ‘good’ sample.

“Providing a quality sample to the lab for evidence purposes can literally make or break an investigation,” Spence said. “From visiting physical blast sites, to routing the proper paperwork and coordinating the actual movement of assets, it is the NCOIC’s job to ensure a quality sample is ready for the team to review.”

“You can't fake a DNA profile or fingerprint,” Breive said. “Our analysis provides mission partners the ammo they need to conduct their investigations and complete the mission. Working here has been eye-opening, as this team places the scientific method over opinions and speculation – allowing the truth to be discovered.”

In addition to his work functions, Breive said he also serves somewhat as the shop’s defacto first sergeant, assuming numerous additional duties to help other members of his team. In these duties, he ensures lodging and meal cards for personnel as well as providing solutions for logistics and personnel issues.

Breive said the workload and immersion in the U.S. Army culture is nothing new to him. With dozens of joint-missions and several deployments under his belt, Breive said working for FXL-C is one of the most rewarding and eye-opening experiences in his entire Air Force career.

“Working with this team has helped me grow as an NCO,” he said. “Having the chance to work in this office, I now see all of the effort that goes into an investigation – and I feel I have a lot more to offer my Airmen once I return home.”

Engage

Twitter
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: Maintaining resiliency in paradise - https://t.co/IXktGzGgWc (Story by the @624RSG) #ReserveResilient https://t.co/ta8mMTP…
Twitter
RT @hack_a_sat: Tune in at 11 AM PDT to watch the LIVE closing ceremony with Dr. Will Roper and @bjgol. 🚀It's all happening at https://t.c…
Twitter
Difficult, but not impossible. @GenCQBrownJr addresses the challenges the Air Force faces going forward. https://t.co/kF4FdxN5S6
Twitter
“I want to show people the power of having faith & sticking to what you say you’re going to do.” - Staff Sgt. Gerem… https://t.co/524l6BUsyI
Twitter
What operates 24/7 ensuring the safety of aircraft & aircrews, AND provides prompt service to whoever is flying?… https://t.co/JMaYsTV5XH
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr explains what the Air Force can expect from his leadership: https://t.co/bxeqgZ1NSi
Twitter
RT @AirmanMagazine: Your daily @usairforce news! ✅ @Team_Tinker Airmen are using 3D printing to manufacture metal components successfully…
Twitter
5-year-old Wilder Umbarger, who suffers from X-Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy, wished he could see a real plane and me… https://t.co/nUtEk9e0u4
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr assumed his new role as Air Force Chief of Staff Aug. 6. https://t.co/kk8y15fOYe
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: "Their exceptional service in conducting over 100,000 COVID tests set the conditions to reduce the effects of this pandem…
Twitter
Botinsol Analytics has developed a portable precision chem-bio lab for people who need to do real-time analysis in… https://t.co/XgOq8ROkSE
Twitter
#FollowFriday: The 22nd Air Force Chief of Staff @GenCQBrownJr https://t.co/UOG0JDKTVJ
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: On #PurpleHeartDay we honor and remember the members of the U.S. Armed Forces who were wounded in combat or paid the ulti…
Twitter
.@GenDaveGoldfein retired from active duty and passed on the duty of Air Force Chief of Staff to @GenCQBrownJr. https://t.co/AdlykogVjZ
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr's tenets of leadership: - Execute at a high standard - Be disciplined in execution - Pay attention… https://t.co/9EmCYue0OO
Twitter
RT @AirMobilityCmd: We are incredibly proud of our #TotalForce #MobilityAirmen and their support to ongoing relief efforts in #Lebanon. Del…
Twitter
Today, we salute the #heroes, wounded or killed in action, who have served our country. #PurpleHeartDay https://t.co/4yHljdUaNf
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: I’m blessed to have Sharene by my side & the support of our sons, Sean & Ross. She has committed so much to our family &…
Twitter
RT @CENTCOM: Gen McKenzie informed Gen Aoun of the impending delivery of three C-17s shipments of U.S. relief supplies including food, wate…
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
1,262,800
Follow Us