Military News

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Beale EOD trains, supports Sentry Eagle 15

by Airman 1st Class Ramon A. Adelan
9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs


8/4/2015 - BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, California  -- When you hear the words 'Sentry Eagle,' your first thought might be F-15 Eagles, F-16 Falcons, or F-18 Hornets. You would think of these fighter airframes, but would explosive ordnance disposal cross your mind? It might not.

Members of the 9th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight received hands on training and provided safety support for Sentry Eagle 15 at Kingsley Field National Guard Base, Oregon, July 30 to Aug. 2, 2015.

Sentry Eagle is an air-to-air combat training exercise hosted by the 173rd Fighter Wing. The exercise allows pilots from the 173rd FW to train against different aircraft, to practice aerial refueling and combat operations.

More than 500 troops and approximately 50 aircraft from the Air Force, Air National Guard, Navy, Marines, and the Canadian air force participated in Sentry Eagle.

EOD spent four days at Kingsley Field; their schedule consisted of two days of training, a day on site for emergency response during Sentry Eagle and a day to dispose of ordnance on location.

"Part of our mission is to deal with any aircraft hazards that may occur during a routine flight or aircraft incident," said Master Sgt. Mark Brady, 9th CES EOD Flight non-commissioned officer in charge. "With that we have to be familiar with all the explosive hazards you may find on an airplane, such as the ejection seat and the weapon systems."

The EOD technicians received hands on familiarization training from the 173rd Fighter Wing on the F-15. The training included, the proper way to shut down an airframe, to remove the ejection seat and any ordnance on the aircraft.

"What we provide is protection to personnel and property from explosives ordnances," said Tech. Sgt. Richard Hesse, 9th CES EOD Flight team leader. "We are the closest responding unit and this gives us the opportunity to get the necessary training while providing the base here with a team who can respond on site if an incident occurred during the exercise."

EOD provided on-site emergency support, which reduced response time from more than five hours to mere minutes.

"Every explosive ordnance task we approach is purely 100 percent situational," Hesse said. "After identifying and knowing exactly how it works, I'm able to know if my team is a safe distance away and go through the procedures in my head of what tools I need and how I will approach the ordnance. The training here gave us the familiarization we need for any situation with these aircraft."

Beale's EOD was able to send a six-man team to train and support Sentry Eagle and for some of these technicians it was their first time at the exercise.

"I was able to learn a lot and experience a different environment than what we have at Beale," said Senior Airman Westin Shular, 9th EOD Flight technician. "This isn't my first time working with fighter airframes, but it is a good opportunity to get hands on training and work with other agencies."

The 173rd FW and Beale's EOD has a support agreement, in which EOD trains quarterly at Kingsley Field for aircraft familiarization, egress, munitions load training and conducting ordnance operations.

"Whenever we do anything with the potential for a mishap, whether we fire a weapon or have an exercise like Sentry Eagle, I always reach out to Beale's EOD," said Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Shew, 173rd FW weapons safety manager. "The trainers here are dedicated and know that it's very important that EOD receives the best training in case of a mishap. Their support is invaluable and we thank them for being here."

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