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EODMU 3 Det. Point Mugu Assists Local FBI Bomb Tech Dive Team

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070503-01
Release Date: 5/3/2007 8:01:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Eva-Marie Ramsaran, Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu

POINT MUGU, Calif. (NNS) -- Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 3 Detachment Point Mugu technicians of Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Point Mugu are working on an ongoing basis with the FBI's Underwater Hazardous Device Team (UHDT) ONE, based out of Los Angeles.

UHDT ONE is a newly formed unit composed of FBI, Los Angeles Sheriff Department, and Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) bomb technician divers whose job is to locate, designate, and dispose of underwater improvised explosive devices.

As a part of the U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal program, EOD technicians train with the FBI and other federal and local law enforcement bomb technicians during the course of their duties.

UHDT ONE responds to any non-military/commercial port threat located within the Los Angeles area. For civilian ports such as the Port of Los Angeles, U.S. Navy EOD teams have to be requested by the local law enforcement to provide support with the possible threat due to their jurisdictional limitations.

“An FBI agent, who worked with bomb tech divers from the LAPD and the L.A. Sheriff’s Department during the course of the underwater post-blast investigation class, started up the underwater hazardous device team about two years ago,” said Lt. Michael Tollison, officer in charge of EODMU.

“Our team is viable because if there is a threat in the port, we are the closest Navy EOD asset for NBVC and surrounding bases and ports," said Tollison. "If we weren’t located here it would take the closest Navy EOD team about three hours to get here.”

The Navy’s EOD technicians play an integral part in the global war on terrorism, which takes away a lot of personnel from EODMU 3 Detachment Point Mugu for overseas deployments. Although limited in their personnel due to obligations to Naval Region Southwest and the Pacific Missile Test Range, the detachment continues to work with UHDT ONE and assist them with training. Training UHDT ONE enhances local EOD capabilities and ultimately makes the Los Angeles area safer and less vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

“The aspect of the job I like the most is the camaraderie, which is very important when working with such a small team,” said Tollison. “It is imperative to be a team player, as well as having good judgment and being competent in these types of mission areas because there is no room for mistakes.”

EODMU 3 Detachment Point Mugu uses remote-controlled robots to perform downrange work that could put them in harm’s way. They also use segways that help them get to potentially dangerous devices in less time and with less effort than if they were walking sometimes long distances while in their bomb suits, which weigh about 60 pounds.

EOD technicians locate, identify, render safe, and explosively dispose of foreign and domestic ordnance, including conventional, chemical, biological, nuclear, underwater and terrorist-type devices. EOD technicians’ missions take them to all environments, every climate, in every part of the world.

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