June 8, 2017
With a pop, whiz and disorienting bang, the action begins. The shouts of a simulated casualty magnify as the rapid teamwork of Holloman Air Force Base’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Airmen takes over.
However, this time they are not on scene to clear explosives — they are training to save the life of a combat casualty.
“I did not think this is what I was going to be doing,” said Airman 1st Class Robert Frey III, a 49th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD technician. “I figured I would get some first aid training, but the training we received through [Tactical Combat Casualty Care] was above and beyond what I was expecting.”
The nature of an EOD Airman’s career carries with it certain risks that many others may never have to face. It is important that they have basic knowledge on treating trauma-based injuries.
“This training is a critical skill for EOD to have because of the high risk missions that we support,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Junk, a 49th CES EOD technician. “During operations, an EOD team is usually imbedded with an Army, Marine, or even a foreign ally unit to take care of any explosive obstacles that are encountered. Having advanced medical training allows the EOD team to be a force multiplier to the unit we are supporting because normally there is only one medic attached.”
EOD Airmen take their jobs seriously and always know that lives may be on the line.