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Having a blast with the 21st EOD flight

men moving simulated bomb

Members of the 21st and 302nd Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordinance Disposal Flights transport a simulated bomb to be used during training at the demolition range on the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Aug. 10, 2022. Training focused on explosive safety requirements, electric and non-electric demolition techniques, proper preparation, and placement of manufactured and improvised shape charges. (U.S. Space Force photo by Senior Airman Brooke Wise)

EOD member packing C4

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Reese Collins, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordinance disposal technician, packs C4 into a manufactured shape charge during training at the demolition range on the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Aug. 10, 2022. EOD members train to create explosives with manufactured and improvised shape charges, and observed the effects of each detonation. (U.S. Space Force photo by Senior Airman Brooke Wise)

EOD members placing C4

Members of the 21st and 302nd Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordinance Disposal Flights secure manufactured shape charges to a simulated unexploded ordinance during an exercise at the demolition range on the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Aug. 10, 2022. The shape charges were detonated to observe the effects of each blast on a simulated unexploded ordinance. (U.S. Space Force photo by Senior Airman Brooke Wise)

man placing C4

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Lawrence Gress, 21st Explosive Ordinance Disposal Flight team leader, secures an improvised explosive to a simulated unexploded ordinance during an exercise at the demolition range on the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Aug. 10, 2022. EOD personnel train to create improvised explosives using on-hand materials in the event that manufactured shape charges are unavailable. (U.S. Space Force photo by Senior Airman Brooke Wise)

Men walking in field

Members of the 21st and 302nd Explosive Ordinance Disposal Flights prepare to attach detonation cord to improvised explosives during training at the demolition range on the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Aug. 10, 2022. Once the cord is attached, members clear the area and activate the explosives using a remote electronic detonator.

detonation in field

An improvised explosive device is detonated by members of the 21st and 302nd Explosive Ordinance Disposal Flights during training at the demolition range on the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Aug. 10, 2022. Learning how to properly set and place shape charges increases the effectiveness of the EOD personnel when deployed in support of contingency operations.(U.S. Space Force photo by Senior Airman Brooke Wise)

detonation marks on simulated bomb

A simulated unexploded ordinance is observed by members of the 21st and 302nd Explosive Ordinance Disposal Flights after being exposed to multiple improvised shape charges during an exercise at the demolition range on the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Aug. 10, 2022. The training was held to test capabilities and witness the results of manufactured and improvised shape charges. (U.S. Space Force photo by Senior Airman Brooke Wise)

PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Members of the 21st and 302nd Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordinance Disposal Flights conducted training and evaluations on shape charge effects and low order demolition techniques at the demolition range on the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Aug. 10, 2022.

Training focused on explosive safety requirements, electric and non-electric demolition techniques, proper preparation, and placement of manufactured and improvised shape charges.

“This demolition training day served to fill both annual training and evaluation requirements of the active duty and Air Force Reserve personnel,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. James Joiner, 21st CES EOD flight chief.

EOD personnel first observed the effects of manufactured shape charges, which have been tested and built for specific EOD operations. They then moved on to creating improvised shape charges using various materials such as empty drink cans and water bottles.

“All manufactured shape charges have been tested, so the outcome is known,” explained USAF Senior Airman Steven Nguyen, 21st CES EOD technician. “However, improvised shape charges are more like an educated guess. You use your knowledge and skills to try and recreate the effects of a manufactured charge using only tools you have at your disposal.”

The 21st CES EOD Flight provides emergency response support and life-saving training to four U.S. Space Force installations and USAFA. The flight also conducts training with and responds to military munitions in support of local bomb squads under the DoD directed Defense Support to Civil Authorities Program.

Additionally, the flight responds to suspect vehicles and packages at all local USAF and USSF installations. These engagements extend the flight’s coverage to a large portion of Colorado, making these training events essential to maintain readiness and support. 

“Learning how to properly set and place shaped charges, as well as witnessing the capabilities of each charge, increases the effectiveness of EOD personnel in support of contingency operations,” said Joiner.

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