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ESG-1 Conducts Successful EOD Exercise with Australian Navy

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050829-08
Release Date: 8/29/2005 2:56:00 PM

By Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class (AW/SW) Tony Spiker, ESG 1 Public Affairs

DARWIN, Australia (NNS) -- The members of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 3 Detachment 7 and EOD Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted training exercises here with the Australian Clearance Diving Teams (AUSCDT) Aug. 15-21.

The teams spent their time suspended from the bottom of flying aircraft, sliding down ropes and jumping from hovering helicopters, diving among sunken war relics and driving at high speed down the dirt roads of the Northern Territory.

“EOD is a reactive community; we do a dangerous job when called to do it,” said Lt. Scott Kerns, officer in charge of the detachment. “In the meantime, it is great to be in a job where the training and real-world operations are such a rush.”

One such training event was the helo-cast and recovery. In it, a helicopter flies low and slow over the water near the target, allowing the EOD team members to jump out one at a time. The technique is used for quick insertion to dispose of floating mines that pose a hazard to shipping.

The teams also practiced Special Purpose Insertion and Extraction (SPIE) and fast roping. These techniques are used for tactical insertion for a ground or ship target. In SPIE rigging, up to eight personnel are attached to a rope suspended from a helicopter and lifted off or set on the ground without having to land the helicopter. In fast roping, EOD team members slide down a rope from a helicopter, sometimes as high as 60 feet off the ground.

The training improved the tactical proficiency for the Navy and Marine EOD units as ESG-1 heads into the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, but it had other benefits as well.

“The whole point of interoperability is to improve the relationship in the Navy and Marine Corps Team. In the past, exercises such as this have only included members of the Australian navy and our Navy. In this exercise, we were able to include the Marine EOD unit, which added another level of cooperation to the event," said Kerns. "[And] as always, serving alongside the first-rate sailors of Australia is an honor.”

“I love working with the AUSCDTs," said Chief Gunner's Mate Jerry Huff. "They are extremely professional and top notch in their field. They work hard and play hard, and this experience has definitely strengthened the bond between our units.”


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