HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. --
Six explosive ordinance disposal Air Commandos with the 1st Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron performed a three hour, explosive ordnance cache training at the Eglin Range, March 9.
Simulated cache training is conducted quarterly to ensure Hurlburt’s EOD Airmen are ready to execute operations worldwide.
The EOD specialists began their night with a Humvee ride from Hurlburt Field to the Eglin Range. Upon reaching the range, they hiked more than a mile down a dirt road, searching for simulated caches.
EOD specialists are trained to detect, disarm, detonate and dispose explosive threats.
“As new Airmen, we generally train on certain types of equipment to become certified, but throwing it all together into an actual mission lets you see how each piece of equipment helps us do our job,” said Senior Airman John Nipp, an EOD journeyman with the 1st SOCES.
During the training, EOD specialists cleared roadways using different tools such as metal detectors and disabled simulated explosive ordnance found in caches. Explosive ordnance can include bombs, improvised explosive devices and mines.
“This training is important because it’s a mission we are tasked with a lot down range,”, said Staff Sgt. Joshua Zifzal, an EOD craftsman with the 1st SOCES. “We can be tasked at any time so we need to maintain our skills.”
By training during all times of day, Air Commandos ensure that they are ready to execute a mission any time, any place.
“In the real world, it’s a good possibility that we’d hit a suspected cache at night,” Nipp said. “With that possibility, we need to be efficient and ready.”