706th EOD wins All-Army competition

| August 22, 2014 | 0 Comments
Two warriors disabling a bomb.

Staff Sgt. David Townsend (left) and Sgt. Ryan Essenmacher, part of a three-Soldier team from the 706th EOD, disarm an IED during the EOD Team of the Year Competition held at Fort Hill, Virginia.

 

Staff Sgt. John C. Garver
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

 
FORT HILL, Virginia — A three-Soldier team from the 706th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 303rd EOD Battalion, 45th Sustainment Brigade, 8th Theater Sust. Command, earned the title 2014 EOD Team of the Year, Friday.
Five EOD teams of Soldiers came together for the inaugural competition at the McMahon EOD Training Center, here, Aug. 11-14, during which they trained to neutralize unexploded mines, artillery rounds, improvised explosive devices and other explosives.
The team from Hawaii, which consisted of Staff Sgt. David Townsend, Sgt. Ryan Essenmacher and Spc. Michael Rooney, mastered the grueling four-day event that tested them physically, mentally and emotionally.
“I didn’t think we were going to win,” said Townsend. “I’m ecstatic that we did. It was extremely challenging, mentally and physically.”
The first day consisted of a physical fitness test, followed by weapons qualification and a series of written exams that tested their EOD knowledge.
The following day, the real challenges began with 14 tests of stamina, skill and intellect. The challenges included a victim in a collar bomb, a stuck projectile in an artillery tube and a downed aircraft in a minefield.
Townsend said the win was due in large part to his teammates, Essenmacher and Rooney.
“They’re the brains of the team,” he said. “Without them, I fail.”
Rooney said that even though the competition was tough, he enjoyed it.
“It tested our skills,” Rooney said. “It was fun, especially with me being new to EOD. I learned a lot.”

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