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51st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Scales More Than 2,200 Feet

By Staff Sgt. Franklin R. Ramos | 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs | Sept. 11, 2017

SEOUL, Republic of Korea -- The 51st Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) shop climbed more than 2,200 feet at Bhukansan National Park during a training assignment.

The EOD shop conducted a Mountain Mobility Course which allowed its members to learn procedures and techniques that go into mountain climbing.

“We were out there basically showing the younger guys how to move through the mountains,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Daniel David, 51st CES EOD operations and training section chief. “Giving them the idea of how long it takes to go up a hill or over a mountain and how to pack their packs and properly wear their gear.”

Understanding how to navigate a mountain is critical to EOD forces.

“As far as EOD goes, knowing your mountainous terrains is going to allow you to operate better as an EOD tech because terrain will naturally funnel people moving through the mountains,” said David. “So it allows you to understand how the enemy could use mountainous terrain to their advantage. Knowing that provides us with an advantage and allows us to advise commanders and members working within the unit.”

EOD personnel need to understand how to operate in mountainous terrain to safely help recover aircraft and crew in a mishap. They also provide training for other members of the base’s crash recovery team such as firefighters.

“The crash recovery element of the base has a lot of different agencies involved in order to recover an aircraft, its parts and to find out what happened,” said David. “The more people we train in just the basic portions of mountaineering is going to allow them to be able to understand how to safely operate in that environment.”

The course provided challenges for some of the trainees.

“Toughest part of this training is trying to get the students to understand and trust the systems. People will have difficulty putting trust into their gear especially if they never used it or worked around this sort of thing,” said David. “Heights are another big thing that a lot of people have a problem with, but once you’re comfortable with the system then the height is no longer an issue because you know you’re safe.”

“Trusting what the instructors are telling you is going to work [was tough],” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Dakota Wolosewicz, 51st CES EOD apprentice. “For instance, you have this janky looking knot that you’re trusting with your life to save you. So just putting your trust into the equipment and the procedures of the people [climbing] was tough.”

This training is another skill that enhances the EOD mission by preparing its members for the challenges of climbing.

“Training the younger guys and sharing that knowledge with them is a very rewarding feeling,” said David. “Seeing them come in from not knowing anything about climbing to being able to do it with literally their eyes closed is really awesome.”

Wolosewicz added that joining EOD, “Was a lot of hard work to get here and it was definitely worth it. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.”
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