Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Or login with Facebook
    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    Joint service partnerships bolstered through annual Audacious Warrior exercise

    Joint service partnerships bolstered through annual Audacious Warrior exercise

    Photo By Senior Airman Anya Hanson | Wisconsin National Guard members exit a Blackhawk helicopter during a training event...... read more read more



    Story by Senior Airman Anya Hanson 

    115th Fighter Wing

    Airmen, Marines, and Soldiers from a range of units and career fields participated in an exercise focusing on explosive ordnance disposal at Fort McCoy and Volk Field in Wisconsin May 15 to 25.
    The 115th Fighter Wing hosted Audacious Warrior, an EOD training exercise that incorporates partners in supporting roles including the 115th FW Emergency Management and Security Forces, the 432nd Civil Affairs Army Reserve unit out of Green Bay, and the Combat Logistics Battalion 22 out of Camp Lejeune North Carolina. There are more than a dozen total EOD units from across the country participating in the exercise.
    “EOD has nine mission sets and we try to exercise as many as possible here to get our three, five, and seven levels more experience working in teams, especially teams they’re not used to working with,” said Master Sgt. Matthew Vandermolen, 115th Fighter Wing logistics section chief and facilitator of Audacious Warrior. “We’re able to leverage all the equipment and training facilities that are available to us here.”
    Generally, EOD, security forces, and emergency management don’t work together until there is a real world emergency. This exercise emphasizes the importance for these groups to deliberately train together in order to be prepared for when related emergencies occur.
    “We want to set each other up for success,” said Vandermolen. “For example, security forces will most likely respond or find suspicious items first and then request us, and in turn, if a situation then included some type of CBRN hazard, we would then potentially request EM support. So if we train appropriately, we know what each entity brings to the table and what they might be looking for when they show up on scene.”
    Vandermolen also discussed the common occurrence of EOD working with other service branches and the necessity for EOD to be prepared for those calls.
    “In terms of our joint service support, it occurs mostly overseas in a contingency operations environment,” said Vandermolen. “All EOD technicians attend the same technical school and receive the same baseline training which can make it much more common for Air Force EOD teams to respond to calls for assistance from other branches. We all speak a different language with our jargon or terms, and when we get up here we can hash some of that out. It gets us all on the same page so that we can go operate together more efficiently.”
    Part of the responsibilities of an EOD member is building the improvised explosive devices or inert IEDs used for training. However, Vandermolen explained that bomb makers tend to have a “signature”, varying their techniques, methods, and materials used from person to person. Solely training with members of their own EOD unit can limit exposure and training on diffusing explosives.
    “When you get thrown on a team with people you don’t know and they have different methods or preferences, you can add those thought processes and techniques to your skillset and bring them back to your unit,” said Vandermolen. “It seems to help our career field evolve and ensures our individual units have fewer blind spots in their training.”
    Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jacob Campbell, a Marine Corps EOD officer with the CLB 22, brings his own personal experience to the exercise by creating training events based on years of Iraq and Afghanistan warfighting. As a Marine, EOD specifics are more tailored toward maneuver warfare. For example, a Marine EOD unit may be attached to a Marine infantry platoon or company providing them with direct or general support. This provides Air Force and Army EOD units training that may not otherwise have been highlighted.
    “We’ve been partnering with the Air National Guard, multiple units, over a couple of different training events now,” said Campbell. “This specific event during this exercise which we’re in charge of proctoring, is a dismounted type of mobile patrol scenario. We’ve been tailoring the problems encountered to be: disrupting maneuver warfare, and inhibiting coalition forces, either towards humanitarian support and or direct support operations.”
    The Marines present at the exercise, like the rest of the EOD units at Audacious Warrior, were invited to participate in the event by the 115th FW. Campbell explains that training opportunities shared with other units are reciprocated, creating not only opportunities to work with other units, but more training opportunities in general.
    “We invited them to IED Effects we put on months ago,” said Campbell. “We tailored it to what we do, how it normally would be employed and experienced at the Marine level, and we invited the Air Force to come out. They sent two teams. When we host the training it’s a lot of planning, but when we go somewhere else we get to fall under their ammo supplies, food, etc.”
    Campbell emphasizes the importance of having the opportunity to not only training with other branches and units, but the importance of training away from their home station.
    “An eye opener through all four of these iterations that we’ve worked with the Air National Guard is that the access to ranges is substantially larger than just what most units only have at their home stations,” said Campbell. “We’re able to train and move to locations that will totally change the limitations that wouldn’t be imposed on our home units. For example, explosive weight limits, RSO qualifications, the type of terrain. The thing that I’ve taken away is that there’s accessibility to the multi-environments that we would deploy to, right here in the nation.”



    Date Taken: 05.24.2022
    Date Posted: 05.24.2022 13:15
    Story ID: 421395
    Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US 

    Web Views: 290
    Downloads: 0