A representative of the 1st District of Arkansas and former U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician, visited the Naval School of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (NAVSCOLEOD), May 2.
Rep. Rick Crawford was in town for events in conjunction with the EOD Memorial ceremony May 5, and was invited to visit the current NAVSCOLEOD facilities.
Crawford, a 1986 graduate of the EOD School at its former location in Indian Head, Md., was able to see how things have changed since he was a student.
"I was very impressed by NAVSCOLEOD; not only by the facilities and instructors, but also the bright and motivated young people I met who will make up our next generation of EOD warriors," said Crawford.
Crawford toured the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Division, where he watched students working with bomb robots and observed some of the techniques used today by EOD technicians to disarm IEDs.
"I regularly tell active duty EOD warriors that I don't know if I could pass EOD School again," said Crawford. "It was hard enough when I went through. The skill-set required of our modern day EOD force is even more complex and demanding."
Following a tour of the IED Division, Crawford visited the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) division, headed by U.S. Army Capt. Tyson Mueller, the WMD division officer.
"The IED division was added to NAVSCOLEOD in October 2007," said Mueller. "The primary mission here is to increase the Department of Defense's ability to execute classified global and national security response plans against terrorist threats and proliferation of WMDs, while providing a better trained and technically qualified EOD force to the operational fleet and field."
"I'm honored to be a member of this elite community," said Crawford. "This visit was an excellent update on the issues facing our EOD forces."
NAVSCOLEOD, located on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., provides high-risk, specialized, basic and advanced EOD training to more than 2,200 U.S. and partner nation military and selected U.S. government personnel each year.
Article by Ensign Elizabeth Allen, Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving Public Affairs