ROTA, Spain — Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 8, Detachment Europe, at Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota hosted their Spanish navy counterparts, the Unidad Especial Desactivated De Explosivo (U.E.D.E) from Cartagena, Spain during Magre 09-01, May 12-15.
This is the ninth year the teams have come together to conduct different training scenarios, and enhance interoperability and hone their skills in EOD tactics, techniques and procedures. Participants focused on three areas this year: ammunition, chemical response and neutralization of Improvised Explosive Devices. "It's awesome that we get to train with these guys and have bi-lateral training to enhance the EOD partnership we have here in Spain," said Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class Luigi Mendoza. "This training allows us to gain insight into combined EOD tools and help eliminate explosive threats." Mendoza said it was also an excellent way to look at similar events and get a fresh and different perspective in neutralizing the situation. "EOD techs are the same no matter where you go," Medoza said. "We have the same thought processes and mentality in everything we do."
Throughout the exercise, Spanish and Americans shared years of experience. "It's been a really great week. They are great friends and allies," said Navy Lt. Matthew Coombs, officer in charge of EODMU 8 Det. Europe. "They have shared their stories and experiences in Bosnia and other events in places throughout the world. We really enjoy training with them." The U.E.D.E members echoed the thoughts of Coombs and are glad they can continue this beneficial training of both countries capabilities. "We have a great relationship with the U.S. and coming here is great," said Sargento-Primero Manuel Gutierrez Ramirez from U.E.D.E. "Anytime you get to train with another service is good. We learned a few things and we hope they learned a few things too."