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111th Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)

The Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 111th Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) is an element of the Alabama Army National Guard, which exercises control over ARNG EOD elements. In 2004, the US Army activated the 20th Support Command (CBRNE), which subsequently gained Training Readiness Authority for the 111th Ordnance Group (EOD) and its subordinate units.

Prior to the activation of the 20th Support Command, the Army maintained sufficient EOD forces to support 2 simultaneous major theater wars in separate theaters of operations. To support these potential conflicts, the Army had 2 EOD ordnance groups: the 52nd Ordnance Group (EOD) at Fort Gillem, Georgia and the 111th Ordnance Group (EOD) from the Alabama National Guard in Opelika, Alabama. The 52nd Ordnance Group (EOD) was responsible for all Active Component EOD elements in the continental United States (CONUS), the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The Army allocated each theater one EOD group at Army/theater level; 3 EOD battalions at theater support command / corps / division level; and 28 EOD companies at specified locations that best support the maneuver commander.

The EOD group and EOD battalion provided staff planning for Army EOD operations throughout their area of operations. Thus, the EOD group commander was also the EOD special staff officer to the Army force commander, joint force land component commander (JFLCC), and coalition JFLCC. The EOD battalion commander served as the EOD special staff officer at the corps joint task force (JTF) and coalition JTF level. In the absence of a deployed EOD group or EOD battalion, the senior-ranking Army EOD officer also served as the EOD staff officer for the Army element. The EOD commander was responsible for providing the EOD annex to all Operation Plans/Operation Orders (OPLANs/ OPORDs).

On 6 August 1990, the first 2 US Army officers, the Third US Army commander, and a Third US Army logistics staff officer, arrived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to begin organizing for Operation Desert Shield. Echelon above corps units that deployed intact were 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 800th Military Police Brigade (Enemy Prisoner of War), 89th Military Police Brigade, 3rd Military Police Group (Criminal Investigation Division), 8th Psychological Operations Task Force, 352nd Civil Affairs Command, 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, 7th Transportation Group, 32nd Transportation Group, 475th Transportation Group (POL), 111th Ordnance Group (EOD), 11th Signal Brigade, 416th Engineer Command, 411th Engineer Brigade, 513th Military Intelligence Brigade, Army Special Operations Forces, and an aviation brigade.

Approximately 131 units from around the country participated in Exercise Golden Cargo '96 between 18 May and 29 June 1996. The exercise was conducted in 3 2-week increments to accommodate the annual training times allotted for participating Army National Guard and Army Reserve units. These units rotated in and out of the exercise according to their annual training schedules. The 19th Theater Army Area Command (TAACOM), US Army Reserve, Des Moines, Iowa, served as the higher headquarters for the entire exercise. Eleven units commanded by 19th TAACOM acted as higher headquarters units for participating subordinate units. The 111th Ordnance Group from Opelika, Alabama, was the higher headquarters unit for the 70th Ordnance Battalion during the ammunition loading phase of the exercise at Savanna Army Depot Activity.

With the activation of the 20th Support Command (CBRNE) in 2004, Active and Reserve EOD units were restructured. The 111th Ordnance Group (EOD) remained a part of the Alabama Army National Guard, but the 20th Support Command gained Training Readiness Authority for the Group.




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