News: Explosive Ordnance Disposal supports surrounding communities
Story by Cpl. Jacob A. Singsank
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Explosive ordnance disposal technicians risk their lives every time they're called to a situation, whether it's in the Middle East, on military installations or in a city near home.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, provides a 24/7 duty that can respond to military ordnance emergencies on base and the five surrounding counties.
"The surrounding counties have their own bomb squads, but if the item is military-grade ordnance then they will request the duty EOD team to respond," said Capt. James N. Shelstad, company commander, 1st Explosive OrdPage nance Disposal Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group.
The base has a standing agreement to support community ordnance emergencies by working hand-in-hand with local law enforcement agencies surrounding Camp Pendleton.
"We support all the local law enforcement agencies that deal with any type of military ordnance," said Gunnery Sgt. Matthew E. Small, explosive ordnance disposal technician, 1st EOD Co., 7th ESB, 1st MLG. "Local law enforcement agencies are required to inform us if they discover military ordnance."
Recently, a 7th ESB EOD Marine on duty responded to a call by the Orange County Sheriff's Department when ordnance was found at a recycling center in Anaheim. When the EOD technician arrived on scene, he identified the military projectile to be a 105 mm smoke round with a mechanical time/super quick fuse.
Orange County sheriffs decided to move the ordnance to their disposal range about four miles away, said Shelstad. Sheriffs also closed down Interstate 91, and the Orange County Bomb Squad moved the round via their total containment vessel to their disposal range. Once there, the bomb squad disposed of the round.
"By supporting the local law enforcement, it builds a good relationship with them and we get a lot of cross training out of it," said Small, 31, from Hanson, Mass.
Along with building good relationships and training, EOD Marines are saving lives in combat zones, on military installations and the people of the local community.