KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea — Wolf Pack first responders participated in an interagency training event hosted by the 8th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) flight at Kunsan Air Base, April 8.
The training event focused on emergency procedures and response actions in regards to a simulated improvised explosive device placed at the base post office.
“For the training, we placed a suspicious package at the base post office,” said Senior Airman Cody Patterson, 8th CES EOD journeyman. “We wanted to test the different entities on base and their emergency reporting procedures. It also gave us the chance to challenge our newer EOD technicians.”
The 8th Security Forces Squadron, 8th CES fire department, 8th Fighter Wing command post and 8th Force Support Squadron also participated in the event, testing their abilities to safely and effectively respond to an explosive threat on base.
“We all need to keep our skills sharp,” said Staff Sgt. Jameson Baehler, 8th CES EOD craftsman. “Doing more training operations, especially with other agencies, is pertinent to keeping our skills where they need to be.”
Interagency training not only gives first responders the opportunity to complete hands-on training, become proficient in their emergency procedures and reinforce the concept of teamwork; it also helps Wolf Pack first responders embody the “Defend the Base” mission.
“Defending the base is the responsibility of all Airmen at every installation,” said Master Sgt. Skylor Hunt, 8th SFS flight chief. “Cross-agency training allows for first responders to interact and integrate with one another to be fully prepared to respond to real-world situations. Training is one of the key elements to being prepared to defend the base.”
Training also benefits EOD technicians by giving them the opportunity to gain experience on how improvised explosive devices (IED) are built and how best to identify them in the field while emphasizing safety of themselves and the Wolf Pack.
“Training is the most important thing any EOD technician can do,” said Patterson. “Without training, we wouldn’t know how best to handle real-world situations. The more realistic the training, the more prepared and skilled the EOD technician will be in real-world scenarios.”
The counter-IED mission is a large part of the EOD mission. Technicians learn to use robots, x-ray equipment, bomb suits and specialized EOD tools and techniques to disable IEDs during missions and training in order to better protect personnel and property from explosive hazards.