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Northwest Navy, Coast Guard Train Together During Interoperability Exercise

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090626-26
Release Date: 6/26/2009 5:13:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chantel M. Clayton, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Det. Northwest

LA PUSH, Wash. (NNS) -- Navy divers and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team members from the Pacific Northwest met with Coast Guardsmen at the U.S. Coast Guard Station Quillayute River in La Push, Wash., for a week-long training evolution, June 22-26.

According to Lt. Daniel Pick, officer in charge of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 11 Det. Bangor, the Homeland Defense Interoperability Exercise provides an opportunity for both communities to learn how their counterparts work, while training together to complete their mission.

"It's an opportunity for multiple members of the EOD community to crosstrain and to work with the Coast Guard," said Pick. "We do improvised explosive device awareness training with them, because they can come across vessels that they board that could very well have explosive components or explosive hazards, and we want to make sure they are as safe as possible. In turn, we learn what their procedures are for a rescue in the event we have a dive-related casualty."

Dive and EOD members taught Coast Guardsmen what to look for when locating and identifying explosives and what to do in the event they encounter explosives during their daily evolutions, such as vessel boarding. With the increased role of the Coast Guard in national security, this training is vital in ensuring Coast Guardsmen have the tools they need to help protect the nation.

"After 9/11, our missions have changed. We now work for Homeland Security and part of that is working with the EOD guys. They train us on how to identify improvised explosive devices and what potential trends are out there, such as the magnetic bombs, mines, etc.," said Coast Guard Chief Boatswain's Mate Ty Ferrell, surfman trainer for the U.S. Coast Guard Station Quillayute River. "We may not have much of that here in La Push, but eventually these guys will transfer from here and to one of our anti-terrorism teams. This kind of training will benefit the Coast Guard as a whole."

Ferrell said his team greatly benefited from the exercise and hopes to continue to build relationships and increase interoperable capabilities.

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