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Mission ready, EOD streamlines efficiency

Senior Airman Richard Bezouska, 366th Civil Engineering Squadron explosive ordinance disposal journeyman, unloads gear during a training event Dec. 10, 2014, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Bezouska demonstrated how EOD gear is loaded for deployments and how the new system for loading and unloading is more effective. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Malissa Lott/RELEASED)

Senior Airman Richard Bezouska, 366th Civil Engineering Squadron explosive ordinance disposal journeyman, unloads gear during a training event Dec. 10, 2014, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Bezouska demonstrated how EOD gear is loaded for deployments and how the new system for loading and unloading is more effective. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Malissa Lott/RELEASED)

036-Airman 1st Class David Felkins, 366th Civil Engineering Squadron explosive ordinance disposal EOD apprentice, communicates with his team lead during training Dec. 10, 2014, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Previously equipment would be unloaded on and off an aircraft then reassembled, a process that took up to four hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Malissa Lott/RELEASED)

036-Airman 1st Class David Felkins, 366th Civil Engineering Squadron explosive ordinance disposal EOD apprentice, communicates with his team lead during training Dec. 10, 2014, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Previously equipment would be unloaded on and off an aircraft then reassembled, a process that took up to four hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Malissa Lott/RELEASED)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Forward Operating Bases are often situated in a mountainous environment with rugged terrain. Explosive Ordinance Disposal technicians must assess their mental checklists and they could possibly hear small arms fire and mortars go off in the distance. Working in hectic conditions can be stressful but getting equipment ready is even more demanding.

Previously it took four hours for EOD Airmen to unload and reassemble equipment necessary for a deployment once the bird touched the ground. Now, that equipment is simply is driven off the aircraft.

Expected to always be mission capable, EOD Airmen were greatly hindered when it came to preparing for their task. These Airmen are now able to bypass extra steps in between with a new alteration without wasting time unloading and reloading gear.

"This package ties in with the regular warfare mission scenarios and it might offer more flexibility," said Fisher. "It might open up more avenues if they want EOD presence."

Precious moments were squandered with these tasks, but they have to be quick and efficient. Employing a new deployment system will lead to accomplishing the mission much more successfully by eliminating the time it takes to unload.

"Now, everything we need is with us the whole time," said Senior Airman Richard Bezouska, 366th Civil Engineering Squadron EOD journeyman. "Instead of taking four spaces on the aircraft, we only take two."
It doesn't always allow for a smooth process when having to work with various command elements and a constantly evolving mission and working within the scope of the standardized Air Force mission.

"In my opinion the new way is effective for current contingency operations," said Tech Sgt. Jeremy Cunningham, 366th CES EOD NCO in charge of operations. "Historically we have had to change its deployment and tasking process since Air Force practices don't always work well with EOD deployments."

Instead of searching high and low for equipment, EOD knows exactly how it's all packaged no matter which base it's sent from. This universal system keeps the combat mission flowing.

"We would deploy this entire package to a new base and different base EOD technicians would meet it," said Staff Sgt. Derek Fisher, CES EOD journeyman. "This left you fishing through a giant box trying to figure out where everything was."

Fisher continued, now everything is standardized and detailed on how equipment is to be packaged. It doesn't matter who is meeting the package, they're going to know where everything is.

"I think the biggest weigh in is we have the capability to roll-on and roll-off," said Bezouska. "We have detailed diagrams set up to where if we need something, we know exactly where it's supposed to be. I'm ready to start this, it will make our lives easier by getting the equipment to the mission faster. "