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NEWS | Sept. 10, 2020

319th EOD conducts pre-mobilization training

By Sara Morris Washington National Guard

YAKIMA TRAINING CENTER, Wash. – Members of the 319th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company wrapped up two months of training at Yakima Training Center and are preparing for deployment.

“I’m just so grateful that we’ve had the opportunity to do all this training,” said Sgt. Roberta Brown, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team member.

The 319th is the first in the state to utilize Tier One Group training, which is a specialized training facility and contractor out of Arkansas.

At the facility, the 319th trained on shooting, shoot and move, extensive first aid, breaching and close-quarters combat.

“This training is especially important since the last few EOD tech fatalities have been due to small arms fire, as opposed to explosives,” said Capt. Justin Bowen, commander of the 319th EOD Company. “We combined our road to war traditional training with the training suggested on our predecessors after-action reviews to be able to support the missions overseas, since the units have experienced more than conventional EOD missions.”

The feedback received from the Soldiers on their training at Tier One Group was not only positive but instilled confidence in the team members on skills they would not usually have.

“We got to do some really great medical training, probably the most realistic medical training I have ever had,” Brown said. “I could save a life. I mean, I’ve never felt like that after doing medical training before.”

The company finished its training cycle running traditional scenario lanes at the Yakima Training Center to utilize all the fundamentals and skills learned throughout the training.

Brown, a recent reclass to EOD, enjoyed learning new skills outside the schoolhouse.

“When you come out here, there is just so much more context added. Everything is just so much more scenario-driven, rather than black and white rubric-based grading of the schoolhouse.”

The culminating event included vehicle-borne improvised explosive device lane, a known bomb-making facility inspection and the company members' favorite EOD activity, demolition. All these training activities are necessary to improve the Soldiers' knowledge and survivability.

“The great thing about it is that we got the teams out of their comfort zone and pushed them to think outside the box. The support and understanding from our command have been fantastic and led to us being able to do these innovative training activities,” Bowen said.

 

 

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