ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam –
The 36th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight joined U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Royal Singapore Air Force and Australian military EOD members to participate in exercise Tri-Crab April 28 thru May 9 at various locations on Guam.
Tri-Crab is a biennial multi-national EOD exercise designed to reinforce skill sets and strengthen interoperability among different countries.
"This is probably the most important time for exercises like this," said Air Force Master Sgt. Lazaro Acosta, 36th CES EOD flight chief. "We are training hand-in-hand with our regional partners to be able to work seamlessly with one another in real-world contingencies."
Tri-Crab is facilitated by the host country's training facility. This year the exercise was hosted by the United States.
The exercise lasted two weeks. The first week was a meet-and-greet where the participants came together to learn each other's tactics, techniques and procedures before starting the second week when they were broken up into teams and performed training drills.
"We started with a crawl-walk-run, from learning each other's skills, walking through procedures then performing live drills," said U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Jon Mantle, Explosives Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit FIVE 522 Platoon leading chief petty officer. "We ran three to four drills a day, taking anywhere from one to three hours each."
The exercise was divided between surface training and maritime training. About half of the participants worked through the water-borne scenarios while the other half handled the surface scenarios. The water teams were performing drills on anything from floating mines to underwater caches. Surface teams performed drills on weapons caches, different types of improvised explosive devices and some forensic and night drills.
"Tri-Crab reinforced each country's own skill set but also added to it because we got to share our different techniques and procedures. It was great experience that increased our working relationship with other countries." Mantle said. "Being a member of the training department and overseeing this whole event I believe everyone got a big take-away."
Evaluators facilitated the training environment for the teams. They set up situations during the field training exercise, acted as security or witnesses to give the scenario more detail once on scene, and provided overall critique for the technicians.
"I have been trying to be a part of Tri-Crab ever since I came into the Pacific Air Forces," Acosta said. "I am grateful that I got to have this experience, meeting and working with our counterparts. I am really happy how it all turned out and I hope to take part in Tri-Crab 2016."