FORT CAMPBELL, Kentucky – U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians honed their explosive neutralization and disruption skills on Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Sept. 13 – 14.
The 717th Ordnance Company (EOD) “Jokers” participated in tools training on Range 3A at the home base for the “Screaming Eagles” of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
The EOD Soldiers trained with a Percussion Actuated Neutralizer, a .50 caliber rifle and X-ray sources – tools used for overseas operations and domestic response missions.
The training was coordinated by Staff Sgt. Nicole Powers-Trimolt, the EOD team leader for Team 3, 1st Platoon, 717th Ordnance Company (EOD). Originally from Hammond, Indiana, she has been in the U.S. Army for five years and previously served in Baumholder, Germany.
The 717th EOD Company “Jokers” are assigned to the 184th EOD Battalion, 52nd EOD Group and 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command. Soldiers and civilians from 20th CBRNE Command deploy around the world to confront and defeat CBRNE threats.
Headquartered on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, 20th CBRNE Command has deployable units stationed on 19 military bases in 16 states, including 75 percent of the Active U.S. Army’s EOD and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear units.
Since 2003, 20th CBRNE Command EOD Soldiers have partnered U.S. Navy EOD technicians to defeat hundreds of thousands of improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Soldiers from the 717th EOD Company have recently supported missions in Africa. From their Fort Campbell headquarters, EOD technicians from the company also cover domestic response missions on a rotational basis across a vast area east of the Mississippi River from northern Alabama to Michigan.
Capt. Michael A. Fehr, the commander of the 717th EOD Company, said tools training is held twice a year to provide the EOD technicians with the opportunity to use “live” energetic tools and see the results.
“Utilization of these EOD specific tools provides the ability to mitigate explosive hazards, enhance freedom of maneuver and lethality of maneuver forces across the battlefield,” said Fehr, an Afghanistan veteran from Clarksville, Tennessee.