775th EOD Flight forges bonds with community first responders

  • Published
  • By Cynthia Griggs
  • 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Technicians from Hill Air Force Base’s 775th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight tested their emergency response skills while forging valuable bonds with local first responders during a recent off-base training exercise.

Working with the Davis County Bomb Squad and the Layton City Fire Department, the exercise simulated a worst-case scenario involving hostage situations and multiple explosive devices in an urban residential environment. 

According to Davis County Bomb Squad Commander Lt. John Gulley, the bomb squad calls upon 775th EOD Flight on situations where military ordnance is discovered or when extra assistance is needed. 

“It was an excellent opportunity to work alongside local first responders and demonstrate our tools, techniques, and response capabilities while establishing a relationship with the local outside agencies in the event of an incident out in the local community,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel Green, 775th EOD flight trainer.

The scenario being trained on was what they would classify as a “category A” event, in which there is an immediate threat to life and infrastructure.

“This is an extremely unique situation. Although both teams are qualified EOD techs, we have different approaches,” said Green. “This problem enabled us to navigate potential issues in the future and exchange ideas on how to approach something like this in a joint environment.”

When hostages are present and explosives are involved, EOD technicians have to skillfully navigate the hostage’s mental and physical state to keep them calm and engaged while assessing the threat. A scenario like this could take hours and keeping the victims comfortable and safe is a huge priority.

“These operations always include variables and are never the same. One of the priorities with this scenario is addressing pre-existing conditions with the victims, any number of things could shift the operation and change priorities. Training like this stresses the importance of multi-tasking and thinking on your feet,” he said.

Green said an impactful benefit learned of this type of training is identifying points of failure when working with local first responders, especially in the beginning of the event.

“There are several entities that need to be communicated with and getting the info you need can be difficult at times. This event helped us streamline the process and return the scene to normal as quickly as possible,” he said. 

“The team did an amazing job executing. This event took a lot of coordination, and everyone played a part in making it happen,” Green said.