News: Travis EOD team 'answers the call'
By Tyler Grimes
60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Keeping the nation safe from threats both foreign and domestic is one of the Air Force's top priorities. One of those threats is various types of explosives. The airmen of the 60th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal flight in charge of removing them take the job very seriously.
The EOD team is responsible for identifying, removing and eliminating volatile weapons such as pipe bombs, flares, ammunitions and different types of improvised explosive devices, said Airman 1st Class Adrian Salapare, 60th CES EOD apprentice.
Given the various types of explosives, the EOD team must respond to each of these threats accordingly, when they are contacted by the authorities.
"Usually, they'll contact command post and then command post will contact us, tell us what it is and send us pictures of whatever it may be," Salapare said. "We'll take our explosives, go over there, assess the situation and do whatever we need to do for that type of call. Blow it up out there or take it back with us to blow it up on our range."
When responding to a call, EOD uses a variety of equipment to determine the type of threat they face including tool kits to remove obstacles, x-ray machines to see inside objects and remote-controlled robots to examine and disarm any explosives.
Using the remote controlled robot is always preferred over sending in an airman because it is safer Salapare said.
"We try to do everything remotely using the robot and the very last resort is obviously putting on that bomb suit or whatever suit we need to get down there."
In addition to the robot, the x-ray machine is another essential piece of equipment. EOD uses it to respond to potential threats such as a suspicious backpack or package.
"We'll try to use (an x-ray machine) to figure out what's inside of it and what type of device we are actually dealing with," Salapare said.
Once the explosive is located and removed from the area, the EOD team must eliminate it either onsite or on the EOD range. They use precise techniques to expose of the device, Salapare said.
"We have a certain formula that works out to show how far we need to be in, we'll give ourselves a little bit more room for that warm and fuzzy because you don't want anything going wrong," he said. "100 percent safety."