CAMP HANSEN — Eighteen Marines were welcomed home here May 4 after a six and a half-month deployment in Afghanistan.
The EOD technicians with 3rd EOD Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, were attached to 1st MLG (Forward) and assisted various units across Afghanistan.
“There are no words to describe the feeling of him coming back,” said Cassandra E. Crochet, wife of Sgt. Timmy J. Crochet Jr., an EOD technician with the company. “I can finally relax now that he is home.”
While attached to the battalion, the EOD technicians’ mission was to support the rifle companies any way possible, said Staff Sgt. Nate McCafferty, an EOD technician with 3rd EOD Co.
“During our deployment one of our missions was to render safe any improvised explosive devices and any other explosives that were found,” said McCafferty.
While deployed, the technicians disposed of more than 80 complete and 30 partially built IEDs, according to McCafferty.
“Our pre-deployment training really helped us while we were out there,” said Sgt. Caleb E. Farrier, an EOD technician with 3rd EOD Co. “Staying current on IED trends also proved to help us in all situations.”
In addition to clearing IEDs from the province, the technicians trained the rifle companies in counter-IED techniques.
“We taught the riflemen how to sweep for IEDs, as well as what to look for when on patrol,” said Farrier.
The technicians told the riflemen to watch out for certain areas where IEDs were prevalent. They taught classes about terrain features the insurgents often use to hide IEDs.
“The infantry personnel were very receptive to what we were teaching them,” said Farrier. “They really listened to everything we said and showed it whenever we were on patrol.”
The EOD technicians accompanied the riflemen on every patrol in case they came upon any IEDs.
“Some days, we would (not) come across IEDs,” said Farrier. “Other days, we would come across two or three.”
The technicians have to be ready to go out and dispose of an IED at any moment.
“It was a very stressful deployment at times, but I think we helped out a lot of people in the process,” said Farrier. “For every IED that we disposed of, someone else got to walk home that day. That is how I look at it. That is how I know it was all worth it.”