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U.S., French Navies Conduct First EOD Exercise in South Texas

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050127-03
Release Date: 1/27/2005 1:02:00 PM

By Fifi Kieschnick, Naval Station Ingleside Public Affairs

INGLESIDE, Texas (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy is conducting its first bilateral Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) exercise with the French Navy in South Texas on Padre Island in the designated Mine Warfare Training areas, Jan. 24-28.

Sixteen Sailors from EOD Mobile Unit (EODMU) 6, Dets. 2 and 4, based in Ingleside, will work alongside nine French Sailors from Clearance Diving Team (CDT) Atlantic, based out of Brest, Brittany, France.

"This is a terrific learning opportunity for the U.S. Navy EOD and French CDT," said Lt. Cmdr. A. K. Williams of Commander, Mine Warfare Command, one of the exercise coordinators. "The teams are mine countermeasures (MCM) specialists, and this will allow us to exchange underwater MCM procedures as we work together."

During the exercise, EOD operations will follow standard phases - Location, Neutralization, Verification, Raise-Tow-Beach and Exploitation. First, the mine shapes are located. Next, they are neutralized, or prevented from working as they are intended to. Then the Sailors ensure the neutralization measures are effective and the shapes are safe to bring to the beach. They attach a lift balloon on the line and slowly tow the shape to the beach. The final step, exploitation, is intelligence gathering, identifying the mine and how it works, and then disassembling it or disposing of it.

"We worked with Mobile Unit 6 in 2002 in Bahrain," said Lt. Cmdr. Ronan Masseron, commanding officer of CDT Atlantic. "We are looking forward to working together again and enhancing the level of interoperability. It gives us a chance to learn from each other."

CDT Atlantic is one of three French Navy EOD teams and is located on the western tip of France.

EOD divers are bomb disposal experts for all underwater ordnance and any explosive or ordnance that ends up in the water. They ensure shipping lanes are free of terrorist harbor mining, and fight terrorist threats worldwide.

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