National Guard Soldiers expand training mission in Europe
Soldiers from the 720th and 387th EODs are in Grafenwoehr, Germany to cover down on the responsibilities of the 702nd EOD of Grafenwoehr, who is deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
GRAFENWOEHR, GE – Spc. Paul D. Martin, an explosive ordnance disposal soldier with the 387th EOD Company from Cape Cod, Mass., reconnects the power supply to the TALON EOD robot after a battery change. Martin is currently doing real world EOD, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command.
7 photos: Spc. Paul D. Martin, an explosive ordnance disposal soldier, reconnects the power supply to the TALON EOD robot after a battery change.
Photo 1 of 7: GRAFENWOEHR, GE – Spc. Paul D. Martin, an explosive ordnance disposal soldier with the 387th EOD Company from Cape Cod, Mass., reconnects the power supply to the TALON EOD robot after a battery change. Martin is currently doing real world EOD, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command. Download full-resolution version
GAFENWOEHR, GE – Three blocks of C-4 explosives rest upon a 155mm artillery round prior to detonation by the 387th EOD Co.  The round, an unexploded ordnance, was found and reported to the 387th.
7 photos: Three blocks of C-4 explosives rest upon a 155mm artillery round prior to detonation by the 387th EOD Co.
Photo 2 of 7: GAFENWOEHR, GE – Three blocks of C-4 explosives rest upon a 155mm artillery round prior to detonation by the 387th EOD Co. The round, an unexploded ordnance, was found and reported to the 387th. Download full-resolution version
GAFENWOEHR, GE – Spc. Paul D. Martin assists Spc. Earl H. Loria as he dons the EOD bomb disposal suit. Martin and Loria are doing real world EOD missions, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training Program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command.
7 photos: Spc. Paul D. Martin assists Spc. Earl H. Loria as he dons the EOD bomb disposal suit.
Photo 3 of 7: GAFENWOEHR, GE – Spc. Paul D. Martin assists Spc. Earl H. Loria as he dons the EOD bomb disposal suit. Martin and Loria are doing real world EOD missions, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training Program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command. Download full-resolution version
GRAFENWOEHR, GE – Spc. Earl H. Loria performs explosive ordnance disposal procedures by remotely opening a door. Loria is currently doing real world EOD missions, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training Program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command.
7 photos: Spc. Earl H. Loria performs explosive ordnance disposal procedures by remotely opening a door.
Photo 4 of 7: GRAFENWOEHR, GE – Spc. Earl H. Loria performs explosive ordnance disposal procedures by remotely opening a door. Loria is currently doing real world EOD missions, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training Program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command. Download full-resolution version
GAFENWOEHR, GE – A soldier with the 387th EOD preps unexploded ordnance, also known as UXO, on a firing range. Once the charges are primed and ready, EOD will detonate the explosives that will dispose of the UXO. The 387th EOD is currently conducting real-world EOD, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command.
7 photos: A soldier with the 387th EOD preps unexploded ordnance on a firing range.
Photo 5 of 7: GAFENWOEHR, GE – A soldier with the 387th EOD preps unexploded ordnance, also known as UXO, on a firing range. Once the charges are primed and ready, EOD will detonate the explosives that will dispose of the UXO. The 387th EOD is currently conducting real-world EOD, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command. Download full-resolution version
GAFENWOEHR, GE – Flame and smoke fill the area as a 155mm artillery round is detonated by the 387the EOD team currently assigned to Grafenwoehr. The soldiers used C-4 explosives to dispose of the UXO safely on an engineer range. This mission is part of their real world operations, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany.  The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command.
7 photos: Flame and smoke fill the area as a 155mm artillery round is detonated by the 387the EOD team
Photo 6 of 7: GAFENWOEHR, GE – Flame and smoke fill the area as a 155mm artillery round is detonated by the 387the EOD team currently assigned to Grafenwoehr. The soldiers used C-4 explosives to dispose of the UXO safely on an engineer range. This mission is part of their real world operations, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command. Download full-resolution version
GAFENWOEHR, GE – Spc. Paul D. Martin adjusts and assists Spc. Earl H. Loria ‘s with his explosive ordnance disposal helmet. Martin and Loria are doing real world EOD missions, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command.
7 photos: Spc. Paul D. Martin adjusts and assists Spc. Earl H. Loria ‘s with his explosive ordnance disposal helmet.
Photo 7 of 7: GAFENWOEHR, GE – Spc. Paul D. Martin adjusts and assists Spc. Earl H. Loria ‘s with his explosive ordnance disposal helmet. Martin and Loria are doing real world EOD missions, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command. Download full-resolution version
GRAFENWOEHR, GE – Spc. Paul D. Martin, an explosive ordnance disposal soldier with the 387th EOD Company from Cape Cod, Mass., reconnects the power supply to the TALON EOD robot after a battery change. Martin is currently doing real world EOD, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command.
GAFENWOEHR, GE – Three blocks of C-4 explosives rest upon a 155mm artillery round prior to detonation by the 387th EOD Co.  The round, an unexploded ordnance, was found and reported to the 387th.
GAFENWOEHR, GE – Spc. Paul D. Martin assists Spc. Earl H. Loria as he dons the EOD bomb disposal suit. Martin and Loria are doing real world EOD missions, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training Program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command.
GRAFENWOEHR, GE – Spc. Earl H. Loria performs explosive ordnance disposal procedures by remotely opening a door. Loria is currently doing real world EOD missions, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training Program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command.
GAFENWOEHR, GE – A soldier with the 387th EOD preps unexploded ordnance, also known as UXO, on a firing range. Once the charges are primed and ready, EOD will detonate the explosives that will dispose of the UXO. The 387th EOD is currently conducting real-world EOD, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command.
GAFENWOEHR, GE – Flame and smoke fill the area as a 155mm artillery round is detonated by the 387the EOD team currently assigned to Grafenwoehr. The soldiers used C-4 explosives to dispose of the UXO safely on an engineer range. This mission is part of their real world operations, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany.  The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command.
GAFENWOEHR, GE – Spc. Paul D. Martin adjusts and assists Spc. Earl H. Loria ‘s with his explosive ordnance disposal helmet. Martin and Loria are doing real world EOD missions, as part of the Overseas Deployment Training program at the Joint Multinational Training Command, also known as JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The JMTC is the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command.

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany - Explosions are something that most military members, who have deployed, are familiar with.  The phrase Improvised Explosive Device can bring dread to every convoy and patrol in a combat zone.  For the Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams, however, IEDs are not the only concern out in the field.

“EOD is called out for a variety of situations such as unexploded ordnance, also known as UXO found on ranges around the base or suspicious packages in the mail room,” said a platoon leader with the 720th EOD Company of Mannheim, Germany.  

Soldiers from the 720th and 387th EODs are in Grafenwoehr, Germany to cover down on the responsibilities of the 702nd EOD of Grafenwoehr, who is deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  Their mission is to respond to UXO calls, conduct security sweeps, and to provide security consulting regarding explosive matters.

“It is important for us to be here to continue the mission,” said an EOD team leader with the 387th of Cape Cod, Mass. “There is always the possibility of finding an UXO on a weapons range and if so, it can pose a serious threat to military members who are training in the area.”

Grafenwoehr Training Area is a primary location for Overseas Deployment Training soldiers that are getting ready to go on deployment.  Most of these soldiers will work the ranges at some point during their training.

“It is important to provide a safe environment for soldiers to receive vital training for a deployment,” the platoon leader said.  “We can help ensure that safety by clearing any potential UXO threats off those ranges.”

For example, a 155 mm artillery round was discovered on a range and members from the 720th and 387th took the UXO to an engineer range. The EOD team applied C-4 plastic explosives and detonated the round. 

“Identifying the UXOs and disposing of them is a big part of safety on the ranges used by soldiers in training,” explained the team leader.  “If a vehicle drove over or a soldier stepped on an UXO, it could be a very “bad day” for them.”

The mission of EOD units is not easy.  The soldiers receive a 10-month initial training course, and they must continue to practice their craft to maintain their skills.

“We must maintain our certification in accordance with the EOD guidelines because all of our missions are real-world events,” said the team leader.  “Our soldiers need to know how to properly use their equipment so they can effectively perform their mission.”

EOD specialists use complex tools to conduct operations. The equipment, such as the TALON robot and EOD bomb disposal suit, allow the team members to detect and detonate explosives while maintaining safety.

According to the platoon leader, training for EOD does not stop with equipment, though.  Within the U.S., they conduct multi-organizational training with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, as well as with a host of other nations and agencies across the world.

“All these countries and organizations are working together to understand the trends and patterns with IEDs,” said the platoon leader.  “We are able to compare notes and use this information to improve the way we conduct business.”

The team members of the 720th and 387th EODs are not only providing a service to the military installations around Germany, but they are assisting the local communities as well.

“We get calls from the local authorities when civilians run across any UXO or suspicious package,” said the team leader.  “This allows us to put our knowledge and skills to use to help the communities outside of the bases.”

The soldiers in Grafenwoehr as well as the military members around the world can rest a little easier knowing that should there be any explosion threat, EOD is on the job.

Editor’s note: The soldiers interviewed for this story requested to remain anonymous.

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