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EOD Group 1 Sailors Take Part in JTFEX

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS061113-25
Release Date: 11/13/2006 3:07:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jose R. Rolon, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific

CHINA LAKE, Calif. (NNS) -- Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Group 1 from Naval Amphibious Base (NAB) Coronado, Calif., are taking part in a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) here Nov. 10-16.

JTFEX is a graded exercise designed to confirm readiness to confront a multi-threat environment expected during deployment focusing on combat and communications.

“This training will consist of weapons qualifications; chemical, biological and radiological training; and watch and combat gear training,” said Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EWS/SW/FPJ) Joel Blea, readiness and training chief for the JTFEX.

Preparations for the JTFEX started in October when EOD Sailors set up a base camp with living spaces and a galley for the crew, and a command and control center for the exercise.

Several other groups including Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron (NCWS) 5 from NAB and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) also joined EOD Group 1 during part of the exercise.

“We are going to start acting like we are in Baghdad," said Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Ronald Sherman, weapons officer with EOD Group 1. "We are going to start wearing vests and helmets, just like if we were in the area of operations.”

In January, the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) brought EOD, Naval Coastal Warfare, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support functions and Seabees together under one umbrella. NECC integrates all warfighting requirements for expeditionary combat and combat support elements. This transformation allows for standardized training, manning, and equipping of Sailors who will participate in the global war on terrorism as part of the joint force. It also results in a more capable, responsive and effective expeditionary Sailors.

“NECC is basically looking for synergies between these various expeditionary warfare skill areas," said Cmdr. Clark Nichols, chief staff officer with EOD Group 1. "How we can leverage those on one another to come out with a better product to support the joint fight is what we want to accomplish out here.”


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