EOD: "This job's a blast!"

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jake Chappelle
  • 512th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Some jobs in the Air Force require the ability to diffuse a potentially "explosive" situation. Team Dover's Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians take this skill quite literally.

Master Sgt. David Guenthner, 512th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD Flight program manager, is one of seven reservists, along with 16 active-duty technicians, who protect the base from potential explosives. This team also recovers and neutralizes ordnance off base; defuses improvised explosive devices in the theater; protects the president from explosive ordnance threats; and, scans human remains for ordnance threats.

In spite of these occupational hazards, Sergeant Guenthner said he enjoys his job.

"I like the diversity of the mission," he said. "Whether you're ordering publications or working on a nuclear weapon, you're presented with a task, you take it on and complete it."

The reservist, who's been with the 512th Airlift Wing since 2000, said his uniforms are ready 24/7.

"There have been occasions where I've spent the morning in BDUs (battle dress uniform) and the afternoon in golf clothes at a country club, searching the golf course for the president," he said.

One of Team Dover's newest EOD technicians with the 512th AW, Senior Airman Steve Hall, went through the EOD technical course at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., a year ago.

"First, you have to go to a six-day preliminary course at Lackland (AFB, Texas), which gives you an introduction to the career field," said Airman Hall. "It's to make sure you really want to be in EOD. If you make it through the course, then you attend the EOD technical school at Eglin (AFB)."

The EOD technical school is a seven-month joint-service school run by the Navy. Potential technicians are trained in basic ordnance, demolition procedures, the functions of the bomb suit, fuse knowledge, EOD tools and methods, reconnaissance and ground munitions, he added.

In order to be eligible for this career, Airmen need to qualify for a top secret security clearance and be prepared for a technical school that has a 70 percent wash-out rate, said Sergeant Guenthner.

Additional requirements to enter into this specialty are normal color vision and depth perception and earn a general score of 64 and a mechanical score of 60 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery entrance exam.

The 512th EOD Flight currently has slots that need to be filled. Airmen interested in changing career fields are eligible for up to a $20,000 bonus. Wing members who would like to cross train can contact the 512th AW career assistance advisor at (302) 677-3594. Civilians interested in joining the AF Reserve can get information on this career by calling the 512th AW Recruiting office at (302) 677-6985.