JAMESVILLE, N.Y. – Nearly 30 members from several agencies, including 21 Soldiers from the New York Army National Guard's 1108th Explosive Ordnance Company, trained with FBI agents to identify explosive ordnance at a rock quarry Oct. 26-30.The FBI-led training was part of the Soldiers' preparations for deployment. They were joined by members of the Vermont Air National Guard, Puerto Rico National Guard, New York State Police and active Army personnel from Fort Drum, New York."It is a five-day course known as the Post Blast Investigator's School," said David Acquavella, a special agent bomb technician assigned to the FBI Albany Division. "We normally conduct the class for law enforcement and reserve a few seats for the military, so this iteration is unusual for the audience being almost entirely military personnel."For the 1108th, this satisfied a training need they otherwise would not have during predeployment training, according to Maj. Salvatore Cautela, training officer for the 501st EOD Battalion."We asked the FBI for the training in lieu of equivalent training in Alabama during the 1108th premobilization training because the 111th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group could not provide the training," Cautela said.Cautela said Soldiers learned how to identify what initiates an explosion, how to reverse-engineer the explosion and analyze the blast crater and debris for forensic evidence."The other units in theater are going to rely on the expertise of the EOD companies if anything were to happen," Acquavella said. "Anything we can do to help them prepare for the mission and support the other commands keeps them safe."Demonstrations at the quarry allowed the students to see firsthand the lessons learned and best practices when it comes to dealing with explosives, FBI instructors explained."Those techniques we highlighted go way back over decades," Acquavella said. "Sometimes, the tactics change in order to bypass security measures, but the science of chemical reactions won't. Mixing A plus B under standard conditions is always going to give you C."Cautela called the training "top-tier practice" for scene and evidence exploitation and skills proficiency for the 1108th. Not only will it help them overseas, he said, but the skills can also be used at home."The training provides the FBI requirement to support any post-blast federal case evidence in the event of CONUS EOD support to civil authorities," Cautela said.The relationship between the FBI and the New York National Guard goes back many years, Acquavella said."FBI Albany has worked with the National Guard since before I was transferred here 10 years ago," he said. "We do a lot of joint training involving emergency response to explosive devices and weapons of mass destruction."Acquavella said bomb squads from the New York State Police, Onondaga County Sheriff's Office and Syracuse Police Department facilitated the practical demonstrations."When I contacted our area bomb squads to enlist their support, everyone was very eager to help," Acquavella said. "Police officers are very patriotic to begin with, and many of us involved with the training are veterans ourselves."All of us involved are extremely grateful for the opportunity to assist," Acquavella said. "Doing this course for the benefit of deploying military personnel gives it an added significance that I hadn't fully realized until the class began."I have a ton of respect for everyone in our military and will do anything I can to help them in their mission."For more National Guard newsNational Guard FacebookNational Guard Twitter