EOD finds new training opportunities in Savannah

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kendra Ransum
  • 94th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. – A massive explosion goes off in the distance, sending dirt and grass sky-high in a plume of smoke. As the debris falls, there are a few seconds of quiet before the air shudders as the shockwave from the detonation reaches the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team several hundred yards away. 


The 94th EOD Flight conducted demolition exercises at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Sep. 16-17, 2020. EOD technicians practiced explosive operations to hone their skills and maintain deployment readiness.


“The EOD technicians in the 94th Airlift Wing are out here conducting explosive operations, honing their wartime skills so that they can be proficient downrange when deployed,” said Senior Master Sgt. Eric Eberhard, Air Force Reserve Command EOD functional area manager. He observed the technicians during the exercise and provided feedback to enhance learning opportunities. 


There are many safety considerations when working with explosives, said Eberhard. These include communication, coordination, accountability, the right equipment and having people with the proper training and experience. The combination of these ensures everyone goes home safe at the end of the day.


Weather was also an important consideration for the group. The exercise took place at the end of Savannah’s rainy season, so heavy downpours are typical; however, the region experienced higher than normal rainfall as a result of Hurricane Sally, which passed through Georgia around the same time as a Tropical Depression. 


At one point in the exercise, the team’s vehicles became impacted by muddy conditions brought on by the adverse weather, which required recovery and further strained deadlines. Despite the setbacks, the team pulled through and completed the mission.


“For this training evolution, we went through numerous tasks,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ross Kurashima, EOD superintendent. The team used electric and non-electric demolition procedures, demolition shape charges, cratering charges and their newly acquired firing device set.


Many of the explosives featured in the exercise are unable to be used at Dobbins because they exceed the base’s net explosive weight limits. The squadron was able to carry out the exercise at Fort Stewart since the range there allows a higher explosive weight limit. 


“What makes me proud is seeing them come together as a team,” said Kurashima. “We play hard when it comes time to get down to business.”