Story and Photo by
Spc. Marcus Fichtl
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — A State Department limousine traded its champagne glasses and leather seats for a healthy dose of explosives, here, May 2, courtesy of the 74th Explosive Ordinance Disposal Company, 303rd EOD Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command.
According to State Department officials, sensitive equipment, including up-armored vehicles, needs to be disposed of in a way that prevents the equipment from being compromised or reused.
Nothing prevents reuse like a controlled explosion from the Army’s explosive experts.
“The State Department needed to demilitarize and destroy the car,” said Capt. Dustin Flowers, commander, 74th EOD Co. “They can’t resell it or scrap it, so they called us and gave us an opportunity to train with our tools.“
Sgt. Joshua Kennedy, team leader, 74th EOD Co., described the training as a win-win for the State Department and his Soldiers.
“(The State Department) gets rid of its limo, and we get to work with demolition tools to see what works on what,” Kennedy said.
One tool they trained on, the flex-linear shape charge, an explosive designed for precision cutting, provided an opportunity for the Soldiers to see its effects on armored doors and glass.
“A big part of our job is understanding explosive properties and how things work,” Kennedy said. “You have to have a brain to do this job. You need to think, because there’s never a single answer for any problem.”
While the EOD Soldiers may never have to destroy an up-armored vehicle during a deployment, they may need to dispose of an improvised explosive device with an armored plating or assist in a hostage rescue in a shielded bunker.
“The Soldiers get to see the capabilities of the tools of their disposals,” Flowers said. “They get to see what they read in practice. On a force protection standpoint, if our Soldiers have the abilities to defeat and mitigate terrorist threats, large or small, it ultimately keeps our installation and all of our government interests safer.”
As the State Department scratches a limousine off its books, the Soldiers of the 74th EOD Co. are better prepared to face threats across the Pacific.
“Real training is the best training,” Kennedy said.