By Walter T. Ham IV, 20th CBRNE Command Public AffairsMarch 20, 2015
FORT RILEY, Kansas -- Soldiers from the 630th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company hosted improvised explosive device training for Military Working Dog teams on Fort Riley.
The U.S. Army EOD technicians helped five Military Working Dog (MWD) teams from the 523rd MWD Detachment to hone their life-saving skills.
Accompanied by their handlers, three Belgian Malinois and two German Shepherds nosed their way around the simulated battlefield, locating hidden explosive hazards.
"The MWD teams play a key role in keeping Soldiers safe downrange," said Staff Sgt. Gerald Desmond, the EOD team leader at the exercise. "EOD and military working dogs frequently cross paths as both our jobs involve the detection of improvised explosive devices and explosives."
"Often EOD teams are responding to devices that were found by MWDs, and by training together and understanding the other's role, we can facilitate a much more efficient working relationship," said Desmond, a U.S. Army combat veteran who has deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The 630th EOD Company is part of the 84th EOD Battalion, 71st EOD Group, 20th CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives), the Defense Department's only formation that combats CBRNE threats.
In support of law enforcement officials, the Fort Riley-based 84th EOD Battalion conducts domestic explosive mitigation missions across 332 counties in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Stationed on 19 posts in 16 states, 20th CBRNE Soldiers and civilians train with allied, interagency and joint partners to confront and defeat global CBRNE hazards.
Desmond said military working dogs save lives.
"Military working dogs are an invaluable tool to keep Soldiers a safe distance away from possible explosive hazards," said Desmond, a Sparta, New Jersey native. "The dogs are able to smell things that no Soldier will ever be able to detect, even with our most advanced equipment."