FORT RILEY, Kansas – Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal leaders came together to discuss lessons learned during recent Combat Training Center rotations, in order to prepare for large scale combat operations against near peer adversaries.
Hosted by the Fort Riley, Kansas-based 79th Ordnance Battalion (EOD), the mission readiness briefing was attended by the command teams and leaders from the 71st EOD Group, 52nd EOD Group, 79th EOD Battalion, 192nd EOD Battalion, 184th EOD battalion, 242nd EOD Battalion and 3rd EOD Battalion.
The EOD groups and battalions are part of the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. military’s premier all hazards headquarters.
The Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-based 20th CBRNE Command is home to 75 percent of the Active Duty EOD Soldiers and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) specialists, as well as the 1st Area Medical Laboratory, CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity, five Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Teams and three Nuclear Disablement Teams.
After defeating hundreds of thousands of improvised explosive devices with U.S. Navy EOD technicians in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last 20 years, Army EOD leaders are mapping the way ahead to safeguard forces and enable lethality during multi-domain operations.
“Of the many highlights of the joint mission readiness brief, the main one would have to be cross pollination across the groups in order to synchronize efforts to prepare for a large scale combat operations environment,” said Capt. Kyle A. Kanuk, the current operations officer for the 79th EOD Battalion.
Training models were briefed by 704th EOD Company Commander Capt. Kristopher T. Wright and the Leader Development Program was briefed by 192nd EOD Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Benjamin O. Brinkmeyer.
“These topics emphasized the necessity to get back to the basics and allow them to serve as a framework upon which we enhance our EOD capability,” said Kanuk, an Afghanistan veteran who grew up around the U.S. Navy in Silverdale, Washington.
Kanuk said the lessons learned from the briefing would be shared with the Training and Doctrine Command Proponent Office for Explosive Ordnance Disposal to inform doctrine.
Lt. Col. Edward R. Runyan, the commander of the Fort Carson, Colorado-based 242nd EOD Battalion, said Army EOD technicians are facing a “paradigm shift” in multi-domain operations and doctrine needs to reflect the threats they will face during large scale combat operations.
Army EOD units must also remain lethal, nimble and ready to support conventional combat and Special Forces units.
Capt. Claire F. Henkel, the EOD trainer at the Joint Readiness Training Center on Fort Polk, Louisiana, said EOD technicians must be ready to shoot, move, communicate and medicate with their supported units on the modern battlefield.
The Fort Campbell, Kentucky-based 52nd EOD Group and the Fort Carson, Colorado-based 71st EOD Group are the Active Duty Army’s only EOD groups.
Col. Michael G. Schoonover, the commander of the 71st EOD Group, which commands all Army EOD Soldiers west of the Mississippi River, said the joint mission readiness briefing will help to shape future EOD operations.
“This is a team effort to ensure we are trained, equipped and ready to enable our maneuver forces to close with and destroy any enemy,” said Schoonover.