Air Force, Army work together for explosives detection training

Dyess technicians train to dispose of explosives

ABILENE, Texas - When the military needs to dispose of explosives or detect bombs in buildings, they call the Explosive Ordnance Disposal, or EOD, technicians.

Each branch's EOD techs are different. For example, the Air Force EODs typically offer base support and investigate suspicious packages in buildings. On the other hand, the Army's EOD techs work to diffuse explosives in the battlefield.

On Tuesday, they worked together.

"We don't have the technology, the same robots we use downrange and so the Army was kind enough to bring up some of the robots so we can train some of our younger people," Staff Sergeant Chris Lavoie, EOD tech, said. "We're letting them train on some of our robots they don't have access to."

In the day's scenarios, the Army techs learned to work with the larger robots and safely take a suspicious package from a building. They learned to inspect it and dispose of the contents.

The Air Force used the day to learn to maneuver the smaller robots. These are typically used in the battlefield to detect improvised explosive devices or IEDs.

Lavoie said it's important to keep the airmen and soldiers updated on the new technology.

"We don't want to forget the skills we've developed in the last 10 years," Lavoie said. "For the Air Force, Afghanistan and Iraq were a lot different than our previous EOD missions and now that we have these new skills we don't want to forget them."

The Air Force trains twice a week on bomb disposal and detection.

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