AFLOAT FORWARD STAGING BASE (June 1, 2015) -- U.S. Army and U.S. Navy explosive ordnance disposal, or EOD, technicians trained together at sea during the May Underway exercise.

Army EOD Soldiers, from the Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico-based 21st EOD Company, trained with Navy EOD technicians aboard an afloat forward staging base in the Atlantic Ocean.

"Joint EOD operations are extremely important to increasing and securing our greater national defense posture," said Maj. Caleb A. Lewis, commander of the 21st EOD Company. "EOD, at its very core, is a joint endeavor."

The 21st EOD Company is part of the 71st EOD Group, 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives, or CBRNE, Command. With Soldiers and civilians on 19 posts in 16 states, the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-based 20th CBRNE Command, combats global CBRNE threats with joint, interagency and allied partners.

Lewis said the U.S. military EOD community is inherently joint because all EOD techs are trained together at the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal School, or NAVSCOLEOD, on Elgin Air Force, Florida.

"It is here that the joint relationship foundation is created, one created and nurtured in an eight month, academically-rigorous course," Lewis said. "EOD technicians graduate NAVSCOLEOD fully prepared to successfully execute their trusted mission set in a joint environment."

Lewis said joint EOD relationships have paid dividends on the battlefield.

"These relationships have been played out time and again over the last 14 years in places like Iraq and Afghanistan," said Lewis, a native of Canandaigua, New York, who has deployed to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once.