News: 71st Ordnance Group (EOD) takes 2012 EOD Team of the Year
Story by Sgt. Christopher Calvert
FORT KNOX, Ky. – The 663rd Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), 242nd Ordnance Battalion (EOD), 71st Ordnance Group (EOD) from Fort Carson, Colo., took top honors during the 2012 EOD Team of the Year competition here, Aug. 17.
During the weeklong competition, four teams of three soldiers competed against each other and honed their specialized skills during fast-paced, lifelike situational events including vehicle-based Improvised Explosive Devices, chemical and multiple ordnance scenarios, and soldier tasks including an Army Physical Fitness Test and weapons qualifications.
“This competition was a phenomenal training event and a great success,” said Command Sgt. Maj. David Puig, senior enlisted advisor for 20th Support Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield explosives). “I couldn’t be more proud of these teams. This competition was a success due to the great efforts of everyone who participated.”
Puig said this year’s division level competition went very well, and hopes it will continue to grow and gain sponsorship in the years to follow.
“I hope next year we can expand this competition so units throughout the world can compete,” explained Puig. “The ultimate goal of this competition is to make this a global, joint-service event where all branches have the opportunity to compete.”
Staff Sgt. Christopher Thompson, team leader with 663rd Ordnance Co. (EOD), 242nd Ordnance Bn. (EOD), 71st Ordnance Grp. (EOD), said his team won first place because of their work ethic and dedication.
“This competition was about consistency,” Thompson stated. “We remained consistent and our hard work paid off. These events weren’t just about bombs; they were geared to test us both mentally and physically. We remained committed to working safely while keeping in mind that every task has direction and requires attention to detail.”
As awards were presented and applause filled the room, Thompson reflected on how it felt to win such an honor.
“To compete feels amazing, but to win feels even better,” Thompson said. “This competition and field are only going to get better in the future.”
EOD teams provide support to land forces in a variety of operations including peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts by providing identification, rendering safe limited sensitive site and post-blast exploitation, as well as responding 24/7 to found military munitions in the U.S.
By hosting competitions such as the 2012 EOD Team of the Year, 20th Spt. Cmd. (CBRNE) is ensuring EOD team leaders and members are fully trained and prepared to answer the call of both soldiers down range, and citizens of our great nation at home.