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    EOD Competition Remembers the Fallen

    EOD Competition Remembers the Fallen

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Shawn Casey | Explosive ordnance disposal Soldiers lift a buried training bomb out of a hole with a...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Shawn Casey 

    1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade

    Fort Bliss, Texas - Soldiers of the 22d Chemical Battalion hosted the 1st Annual Jessen Cup, a week-long explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) competition designed to find the best team to represent 48th Chemical Brigade at the Department of the Army level EOD Team of the Year competition, at the Fort Bliss Training Area, Apr 8-11.

    The competition included 20 events that tested the two-person teams on their ability to complete a Soldier Readiness Test; raise a 400-pound bomb from a hole in the ground; qualify on the M-4 rifle and M-9 pistol; react to an improvised explosive device at night; remove ordnance from the roof of a building; Identify the contents of an unknown container; and react to ordnance in a chemical environment.

    “The competition is physically and mentally taxing on the competitors,” Said Sergeant 1st Class Andrew Olson, explosives ordnance disposal operations sergeant, 46th Chemical Company, 22d Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade. “We wanted to know our competitors could preform basic Soldier and ordnance tasks as well as prove they are physically fit.”

    At the conclusion of the competition, Staff Sgt. Michael Epshtein, team leader, 46th Chemical Company, 22d Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, and Sgt. Shaun Chesterman, team sergeant, 46th Chemical Company, 22d Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, rose above their competition.

    “The grit these competitors showed throughout the competition, and the willingness to constantly perform speaks volumes about who we’re sending to the Department of the Army Team of the Year competition,” said Olson.”Each team pushed themselves to their limits.”

    The Jessen Cup was named in honor of Sgt. 1st Class Kevin P. Jessen, who gave the last full measure of devotion in the service of the nation. Jessen was assigned to the 22d Chemical Battalion and was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom as part of the 734th Ordnance Company.

    Jessen was conducting a post-blast investigation during a combat operation in Rawah, Al Anbar Province, Iraq, when a second improvised explosive device buried in the road detonated killing him.

    “The key behind the Jessen cup is to commemorate Sgt. 1st Class Jessen, “said Olson. “We want the EOD teams that compete in The Jessen Cup to learn about him, and pass on his memory.”

    Jessen's family was in attendance and observed the teams during the ordnance specific events, and assisted in presenting the winning team their awards.

    “It’s incredible that all of these people came together and created this event,”said Jessen’s spouse, Carrie Jessen. “It’s a great testament to who he was as a person and what he did.”



    Date Taken: 04.12.2019
    Date Posted: 04.23.2019 19:40
    Story ID: 319192
    Location: FORT BLISS, TX, US 

    Web Views: 220
    Downloads: 0