Army EOD teams compete for top honors in Korea
Pfc. Jordan Krogmann from the 718th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) works through a scenario during the 2009 EOD of the Year competition at Rodriguez Live Fire Complex May 18.

RODRIGUEZ LIVE FIRE COMPLEX, South Korea - Tackling a series of challenging training scenarios May 16 - 19, Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams competed for the title of top U.S. Army EOD team on the Korean Peninsula.

The winning EOD team was Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Allard and Spc. Ian Steele. The second place team was Sgt. Dustin Shanahan and Pfc. Jordan Krogmann. The third place team was Staff Sgt. Christopher Krupp and Pfc. Matthew Stonesifer.

According to Capt. Scott Mignot, commander of the 718th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), the competition gave the Army EOD teams a chance to hone their life-saving skills.

"We have a continuous mission here," said Mignot, a State College, Penn., native. "We train all the time and this [competition] is the pinnacle of that training."

On today's asymmetric battlefield where few foes are willing to directly cross sabers with the U.S. military, the improvised explosive device is the weapon of choice. Mignot said Army EOD technicians defeat these deadly devices during daily missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To prepare for this threat that can imperil lives and impede missions, the technicians practiced locating and destroying IEDs in the range's mock urban village. The teams also practiced rendering safe conventional ordnance.

Sgt. Maj. Mark W. Grubbs, who has served in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, said the competition included 10 scenarios, a physical fitness test and a written test. The 26-year Army veteran called the scenarios "straight forward problems."

"They have to figure how they are going to attack this thing and defeat it," Grubbs said.

Mignot said Army EOD technicians on the Korean peninsula remain ready to respond to any call, from destroying unexploded ordnance from the Korean War to defeating the most sophisticated IEDs on today's battlefields.

"Korea presents some unique challenges and capabilities that we strive to capitalize on," Mignot said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16