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Peterson EOD trains for real world scenarios

Senior Airman Nick Stewart, 21st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight journeyman, and Senior Airman Dylan Bivins, 21st EOD Flight journeyman, patch a leaking chemical ordnance during a chemical operation training exercise at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 24, 2016. The team successfully patched and disposed of the leaking ordnance during their time limit for the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

Senior Airman Nick Stewart, 21st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight journeyman, and Senior Airman Dylan Bivins, 21st EOD Flight journeyman, patch a leaking chemical ordnance during a chemical operation training exercise at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 24, 2016. The team successfully patched and disposed of the leaking ordnance during their time limit for the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

A team assigned to the 21st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight plan their strategy on disposing of an unexploded ordnance during a chemical operation training exercise at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 24, 2016. The team relied on their tactics, techniques and procedures to successful dispose of the chemical ordnance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

A team assigned to the 21st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight plan their strategy on disposing of an unexploded ordnance during a chemical operation training exercise at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 24, 2016. The team relied on their tactics, techniques and procedures to successful dispose of the chemical ordnance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

Senior Airman Thomas Bennet, 21st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight journeyman, helps a fellow journeyman suit up to perform a chemical operation training exercise at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 24, 2016. Bennet’s main responsibility was manning the robot that accompanied the team during the training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

Senior Airman Thomas Bennet, 21st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight journeyman, helps a fellow journeyman suit up to perform a chemical operation training exercise at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 24, 2016. Bennet’s main responsibility was manning the robot that accompanied the team during the training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

An Explosive Ordnance Disposal robot assigned to the 21st EOD Flight examines an unexploded ordnance during a training exercise at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 24, 2016. The robot is a multipurpose robot that allowed the EOD team to identify any chemical leaks on the ordnance before sending out a team to properly dispose of it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

An Explosive Ordnance Disposal robot assigned to the 21st EOD Flight examines an unexploded ordnance during a training exercise at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 24, 2016. The robot is a multipurpose robot that allowed the EOD team to identify any chemical leaks on the ordnance before sending out a team to properly dispose of it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

Senior Airman Nick Stewart, 21st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight journeyman, suits up to perform a chemical operation training exercise at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 24, 2016. Stewart and his flight’s main goal when dealing with a chemical ordnance is stopping the spread of contamination. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

Senior Airman Nick Stewart, 21st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight journeyman, suits up to perform a chemical operation training exercise at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 24, 2016. Stewart and his flight’s main goal when dealing with a chemical ordnance is stopping the spread of contamination. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- It wasn’t even 9 a.m. and the outside temperature was already reaching the mid 90’s. Apparently it was a perfect day to do some training.

Now all that is left to do is make sure the oxygen tanks are full, the masks are fitted tightly around faces and then don full chemical suits locking in all the good heat.

While most were housed in the comfort of their buildings’ air conditioning, the 21st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight executed a training exercise at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 24, 2016.

“Today was a deployed chemical operation using the current intelligence we have of known terrorist groups,” said Staff Sgt. David Hartman, 21st EOD journeyman. “We ran a scenario based off of tactics, techniques and procedures they are using and enacted our own TTPs on how we would take care of the issue.”

Outfitted in bright-green chemical suits not stereotypically associated with the career field, the EOD team began disposing of the explosive ordnance.

“Our main goal when dealing with a chemical ordnance is stopping the spread of contamination and then getting rid of problem,” said Hartman. “There is a lot more to our job than just wearing the bomb suit. Sometimes we will have to dress out in a level A or B suit to protect ourselves from chemical splashes or persistent agents.”

From chem suits to bomb suits, EOD is often times under many stressors. Outside of racing the clock to quickly dispose of the ordnance, heat was the primary discomfort the team faced during the training scenario.

“There is a big difference between being in the level A suit versus the bomb suit,” said Hartman. “With the bomb suit there is a weight factor, and the level A suit has a heat factor -- it’s basically a really thick trash bag. It doesn’t breathe and it doesn’t let anything in or out. You are just sitting in your own sweat.”

Despite the heat, the 21st EOD Flight was successful in effectively disposing of the chemical ordnance involved in their exercise.

“My team was on it,” said Hartman. “I’m new to team leading, so I lean heavily on my guys so I can think about the next couple steps down the road and get everything in place. The training went really well.”

As for the future, EOD plans to continue to make their training a priority for the every growing threats abroad.

“Training, to us, is number one here,” said Hartman. “If we are not training we are not preparing for that next event that could possibly kick off and so we run as many trainings as possible with our schedule.”

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