Military News

Thursday, March 05, 2015

716th EOD departs for nine-month Kuwait deployment

by Sgt. Brian Ragin
4/25 IBCT Public Affairs

3/5/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Paratroopers assigned to the 716th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment, 725th Brigade Support Battalion (Airborne), 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, packed themselves and their equipment aboard a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft Sunday and deployed to Kuwait for a nine-month rotation.

The 716th recently returned  from a training rotation at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

The training at NTC readied the unit for the deployment, according to Capt. Eric Kufel, who is assigned to the 725th.

"We performed exceptionally well in our rotation to NTC in support of 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division," said Kufel. "[Paratroopers with the 716th] are more than prepared to support [U.S. Strategic Command] as their contingency-response force for EOD support in the region in Kuwait."

Lt. Col. LaHavie Brunson, commander of the 725th "Centurions," said he was confident in his team as they embark on their  mission.

We are one of the best brigades in the Army, without a doubt," Brunson said. "There is only one unit that's going forward to take care of business, and that's our guys. In the last 13 years, we found out that we cannot win a fight without EOD."

While operating in Kuwait, Spartan paratroopers will work daily alongside military service personnel from Kuwait and other partnering nations stationed in the region.

Approximately 40 explosive ordnance disposal specialists with the 716th deployed to Kuwait for the nine-month rotation.

The rest of the unit's paratroopers will continue their important work here in Alaska responding to unexploded ordnance disposal requests from all around the state.

Explosive ordnance disposal Soldiers follow Basic Combat Training with 39 weeks of training at Fort Lee, Virginia. During that time, they learn the fundamentals of electronics and how to identify U.S. and foreign munitions. They also study demolition materials and the procedures and operations for using them, as well as the basics of chemical and biological ordnance and operations.

Armed with the best tactical and technical training, they locate, identify, and dispose of munitions - from improvised explosive devices to nuclear weapons.

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