CHEYENNE, Wyo.- F.E. Warren Air Force Base's Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit displayed what a typical day of training looks like. The team detonated two explosives creating a loud boom across the city of Cheyenne.
The EOD facility building is named after Matthew S. Shwartz who was stationed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base. The technical sergeant died during a deployment in Afghanistan in 2012. Inside the building is a memorial for Shwartz as well as a remembrance for the several men and women who have lost their lives on duty in Iraq and Afghanistan working with an EOD team.
Staff Sergeant Eric Posey, a U.S. Air Force EOD Technician, said he is aware that his job may be dangerous at times. He responded by saying, "Yes, it is dangerous, but for the most part we keep it pretty safe." He added, "Of course sometimes bad things happen, but the main reason we're here is so it doesn't happen to a large group of people."
Posey said the EOD unit has three airmen on standby at all times at the base. To ensure their safety on the job, he says they continuously train and practice. Posey laughed and said, "We're pretty much... Our job is to train, honestly." Posey said the men and women will train up to 24 hours a week.
While the local bomb squads work with improvised explosive devices (IED), the disposal team at the Air Force base says they commonly respond to calls because the area was an army artillery range. When a military explosive is found in the area that hasn't been detonated, their job is to go in and remove it safely.
Posey said they have ten different mission sets. He says that ranges from searching before the president enters a particular area to dealing with unexploded ordnance found in the local area.
When asked what the danger level looks like Posey said, "It depends on the call really. For ordnance stuff, we're going to know how it functions." However, dealing with IED's can be more complicated. Posey said they typically bring out their robots to stay as remote as possible. He says the bomb suits are used in the worst-case scenarios.
To ensure everyone's safety on the base, the team has limits and rules that they have to follow including how much they can detonate and providing a safe area to practice. Posey said they will practice up to two times per week in the summer. The staff sergeant says in order to reduce complaints and keep everyone aware, the team makes sure to make calls around the base and local community.