FORT SILL, Oklahoma – U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal Soldiers trained for long-range explosive clearance missions with snipers from an FBI SWAT team.
FBI snipers from the FBI Office in Stillwater, Oklahoma, helped Soldiers from the 761st Ordnance Company (EOD) to hone their skills with the M107 50-caliber sniper rifle for surface munition disruption missions.
Spc. Dalton J. Shier from the Fort Sill, Oklahoma-based company coordinated the long-range shooting fundamentals training.
The 761st EOD Company is part of 79th EOD Battalion, 71st EOD Group and 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. Department of Defense’s premier all hazards headquarters.
The 20th CBRNE Command “Defenders” deploy from 19 bases in 16 states to defeat the world’s most dangerous hazards in support of joint, interagency and allied operations.
Shier was named the Defender of the Week for his efforts.
Capt. Matthew J. Piranian, the commander of the 761st EOD Company, said Shier forged stronger ties with the FBI and orchestrated valuable training for the company.
“The snipers conducted preliminary marksmanship training and classroom training covering ballistics, sniper spotter dialogue and the parallax effect,” said Piranian. “Spc. Shier went above and beyond his grade level to maintain relationships between 761st and the FBI.”
A native of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, and Afghanistan veteran, Piranian said the training provided his EOD Soldiers with another tool to defeat explosives.
“When authorized, we can clear an area by shooting unexploded ordnance from a safe distance,” said Piranian. “Having the Stillwater FBI Team come help us with long-range shooting fundamentals definitely increases our lethality and ability to employ the M107 if needed.”
Based on the Fires Center of Excellence, the company deploys for overseas operations and domestic explosive mitigation missions while conducting target insertion, range clearance and fire break clearance missions for U.S. Army field artillery and air defense artillery units.
“We try to maximize our opportunities to integrate with other organizations where and when we can,” said Piranian. “We are extremely fortunate to have great relationships with a lot of state and federal agencies in our area. The same Stillwater FBI Team assisted our training last year. We have had some great training opportunities with the Oklahoma City Bomb Squad and with our local FBI Special Agent bomb tech as well.”
Shier said the training was another chance to work with interagency partners.
“Having this opportunity to plan this range was awesome for me,” said Shier. “I have previously worked with the Stillwater team last year for the same type of event. That is where I learned the basic foundations of the M107.”
During his three years in the Army, Shier has enjoyed serving as an EOD technician.
“I decided to become an EOD tech because I knew it was going to be the best job and it has provided me with so many great opportunities,” said Shier, a native of Flint, Michigan.
FBI Special Agent Sam McAfee said he enjoyed helping the 761st EOD company to learn the capabilities and limitation of the M107.
“The opportunity to work and train with them has helped us become better snipers and instructors,” said McAfee, who has been in the Oklahoma City Division for six years. “Increasing the combat effectiveness of the 761st is truly rewarding. We look forward to our continued relationship and any future training opportunities.”