U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal Soldiers responded to more than 2,000 domestic incidents during fiscal year 2014.
U.S. Army EOD technicians from the 20th CBRNE Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives), defused unexploded ordnance across the nation.
Based on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the 20th CBRNE Command is the U.S. Department of Defense’s only standing multifunctional formation focused on conducting daily Defense Support to Civil Law Enforcement Agency missions.
With 172 explosive mitigation missions, the 759th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, from 3rd EOD Battalion, 71st EOD Group, accomplished the most missions out of 20th CBRNE Command’s 44 EOD companies during fiscal year 2014.
Covering 89 counties in California, Arizona and Nevada, in an area totaling more than 84,000 square miles, the 759th EOD Company is stationed on Fort Irwin, home of the National Training Center.
“Out of the 172 response missions we completed, 164 of them were on-post responses,” said Capt. David L. Ayers, commander of the 759th EOD Company. “We receive a high turnover of on-post responses due to the nature of our primary mission, which is to ensure the freedom of movement for all units that train at National Training Center.”
According to Ayers, most of the off-post incidents were discovered unexploded military ordnance rounds.
“The most memorable response that comes to mind was an off-post response in Barstow,” said Ayers, a native of Maypearl, Texas, who served in Iraq.
“In June, my company responded to an ordnance item inside a motel in Barstow, California. Our unit responded with the understanding that this item was near the motel, but in reality it was on the second floor in someone’s room,” said Ayers.
The 759th EOD Company also recently won first place at a bomb squad competition in Oakland, California.
A four-person team with more than eight years of combined combat experience from the company competed against eight other military and civilian bomb squads in a series of challenging EOD scenarios.
During the bomb squad competition, the team confronted scenarios that included a chemical leak accompanied by multiple pipe bombs, a car with six improvised explosives devices, a car bomb with a secondary trigger and a vehicle-borne improvised explosives device on a bridge.
Ayers said the continued success of his company comes from the caliber of Soldiers serving in his unit.
“My Soldiers represent the best of the sons and daughters of America and constantly amaze me with their capacity for sacrifice and dedication to duty,” said Ayers.