177th EOD Blows It Up

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley
  • 177th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians from the New Jersey Air National Guard finished their annual EOD cleanup week at the Warren Grove Range with a bang, exploding previously dropped practice bombs at the facility in Ocean County, New Jersey on April 29, 2016.

The 177th Fighter Wing EOD Techs were joined for the week by civil engineers from the unit and EOD Techs from the 87th Civil Engineering Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and performed range clean-up and target painting, as well as target set-up in the simulated village.

C-4 explosives are attached to BDU-50s, 500 lb. concrete-filled practice bombs, connected by detonation cord and exploded, creating a rectangular shaped indentation, visually exposing the concrete filler inside.

"We have contactors that come in, take away the bombs and recycle them," said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joseph Coates, 177th EOD Tech. "They want to be able to look at a bomb and be absolutely sure there are no explosives in it."

Active duty EOD personnel from McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst benefit from EOD Week at Warren Grove range because they don't have their own range that they're responsible for clearing.

"It's actually a requirement for a skill level certification for new guys to get out and do a range clearing," said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Raymond Wayne, 177th FW EOD Tech. "The experience with the demolition work like we did today is unique to range work. The particular things that we do with the explosives and how we make the BDU-33s safe for handling and how we expose the filler for the BDU-50s so they can be turned over and scrapped...the range is the only place you can do that."

EOD week at the range is an annual event which requires a good deal of planning including financing, lodging, special transportation requirements and notification of the event to the public in the surrounding area.

"I'd say that this week is probably my favorite time at work because it's great to get out here and clean everything up and these range guys appreciate it," said Wayne. "It's always a good experience. Warren Grove crew is really cool, too... probably the best bunch of guys I've worked with on a range. The weather wasn't great this year but we had a real good, safe time. That's always nice, too."