News: 725th EOD soldiers receive Air Force decoration
Story by Sgt. Michael Selvage
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - More than 25 soldiers assigned to the 725th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 63rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion received Air Force awards and certificates Nov. 14 for conducting range clearance operations in May.
Air Force Commendation Medals were awarded to three soldiers, Air Force Achievement Medals were awarded to 20 soldiers and certificates of appreciation were presented to five soldiers.
Air Force Lt. Col. Alfred Tomaselli, a range commander assigned to the 174th operations group, presented the awards to the soldiers.
The soldiers earned the awards for clearing more than 387 acres of unexploded ordnance on Range 48, which is an air-to-ground bombing range, in a 10-day operation.
The portion of the range was cleared so it can be used by the Air Force for more than just a bombing range.
The terrain the EOD soldiers had to clear was very rough and unforgiving as well as the weather, which ranged from days of snow to days in the high 80s, said Tomaselli.
There were anywhere from 10-20 soldiers out on the rage conducting the operation at any time.
Hundreds of items were located and identified on the range.
“There were 17 items found on the range that still contained high explosives or full up fuses and were disposed of on site,” said 1st Lt. Jordan Pate, a team leader who served as the officer in charge of the range clearance operation assigned to the 725th EOD Company.
After working together the Air Force and EOD soldiers established a good relationship and continue to help and support each other whenever possible.
Pate said, the Air Force has allowed the EOD soldiers to use Range 48 to conduct training that would not be possible on other ranges more commonly used by the company.