Having a blast with the 21st EOD flight

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Brooke Wise
  • Space Base Delta 1 Public Affairs

Members of the 21st and 302nd Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordinance Disposal Flights conducted training and evaluations on shape charge effects and low order demolition techniques at the demolition range on the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Aug. 10, 2022.

Training focused on explosive safety requirements, electric and non-electric demolition techniques, proper preparation, and placement of manufactured and improvised shape charges.

“This demolition training day served to fill both annual training and evaluation requirements of the active duty and Air Force Reserve personnel,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. James Joiner, 21st CES EOD flight chief.

EOD personnel first observed the effects of manufactured shape charges, which have been tested and built for specific EOD operations. They then moved on to creating improvised shape charges using various materials such as empty drink cans and water bottles.

“All manufactured shape charges have been tested, so the outcome is known,” explained USAF Senior Airman Steven Nguyen, 21st CES EOD technician. “However, improvised shape charges are more like an educated guess. You use your knowledge and skills to try and recreate the effects of a manufactured charge using only tools you have at your disposal.”

The 21st CES EOD Flight provides emergency response support and life-saving training to four U.S. Space Force installations and USAFA. The flight also conducts training with and responds to military munitions in support of local bomb squads under the DoD directed Defense Support to Civil Authorities Program.

Additionally, the flight responds to suspect vehicles and packages at all local USAF and USSF installations. These engagements extend the flight’s coverage to a large portion of Colorado, making these training events essential to maintain readiness and support. 

“Learning how to properly set and place shaped charges, as well as witnessing the capabilities of each charge, increases the effectiveness of EOD personnel in support of contingency operations,” said Joiner.