Army EOD Technician Killed In Action

Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan Sgt. James G. Johnston (Army EOD Technician) from Trumansburg, NY was killed in a small arms fire during combat operations. The 24-year-old entered active-duty military service in July 2013 as an EOD specialist. He was assigned to the 79th Ordnance Battalion EOD, part of the 71st Ordnance Group at Fort Hood, TX and was deployed in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel in March 2019.



29-Year-Old EOD Technician Killed in Action

Kunduz Province, Afghanistan EOD SPC Joseph Peter "Joey" Collette of Lancaster, Ohio assigned to the 62nd Ordnance Company EOD, 242nd Ordnance Battalion EOD, 71st Ordnance Group EOD, 20th Support Command (CBRNE) was killed in action.

Collette was attached to an Alpha Detachment, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) when he was killed in the during joint operation with Afghan 10th Special Operation Kandak Commandos forces against the Taliban.



Army National Guard EOD Technician Killed By IED

Helmand, Afghanistan Sgt. James Slape, a 23-year-old EOD Technician assigned to the 430th EOD Company, North Carolina Army National Guard, was killed from an IED incident. According to published reports, after a blast had damaged a vehicle, Slape had left his vehicle and was working to clear the area when a second IED detonated.


DoD Releases Bombing Run Details To Aid UXO Efforts

Washington, D.C. The U.S. Army declassified 81 locations of targets recently bombed by U.S. lead coalition forces in the Iraqi city of Mosul. According to a memo released by Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, providing a list of geographic coordinates was done "for the sake of public safety." The memo also stated that the detailed list included the type of munition and the latitude and longitude of the target location "so that duly authorized experts may more easily locate, render safe, and dispose of possible coalition UXO."

The military does not normally declassify and release such data so soon after the bombing. The declassification process normally takes years, if not decades to work through the system. Officials with the State Department are reportedly in discussions with the military about getting similar data for Ramadi, Fallujah, Tikrit and other locations.

Navy EOD Sailor Killed In Iraq

Bashiqa, Iraq 34-year-old Navy chief petty officer Jason C. Finan was killed by a roadside bomb near Mosul. Finan, who assigned to EOD Mobile Unit 3 in Coronado, had been serving in an advisory capacity to the Iraqi coalition force supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq.

The 13 year Navy veteran leaves behind his wife.

Worker Killed During UXO / Explosives Clearance

Ramadi, Iraq A UXO clearance operator working for Janus Global Operations was reportedly killed while conducting clearance operations in Iraq. The name of the deceased has not been released but is reported to be a British national.

The worker was allegedly killed by an IED. An investigation is underway to determine what actions may have contributed to the accident. Janus Global is working under a U.S. State Department contract to clear UXO and explosive devices planted around the area by Islamic militants.

Another British national was reportedly injured in the explosion but his injuries have been reported as minor.

Munitions Disposal a Huntsville Center Priority as U.S. Units Depart Afghanistan

Article submitted by Ms. Julia Bobick, U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville

As U.S. units prepare to depart Afghanistan, military leaders must determine whether to send their excess munitions home or if it is safer and/or more cost effective to destroy them in country. The Joint Munitions Disposal - Afghanistan (JMD-A) team from the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, supports those units by disposing of U.S. and NATO Condition Code H unserviceable and "do-not-return" munitions, as well as captured enemy munitions and explosive remnants of war (ERW).

"Some of the munitions have been out at forward locations for more than 10 years; a lot of times they've been in open storage exposed to the elements or have been rucked around on patrol by the troops," said Chase Hamley, JMD-A project manager in Huntsville Center's Ordnance and Explosives Directorate (OE) International Operations (IO) Division. "Things happen along the way that makes them unserviceable. In addition, there are a lot of situations where shipping the munitions back to the U.S. costs more than the items do in new condition."

More than 3,575 tons of ammunition have been destroyed in Afghanistan to date as a result of U.S. military forces moving in and out of the country, according to Bob Britton, JMD-A lead program manager in the IO Division.

It is the military leaders and their staffs who identify what munitions are to be disposed of, said Hamley, adding that the list of excess and do-not-return munitions is consolidated and maintained at the Pentagon level. The JMD-A team coordinates disposal efforts with the military units and manages the munitions disposal contract with Sterling Global Operations Inc., headquartered in Lenoir City, Tenn., which specializes in demining, clearance of explosive remnants of war and management of ammunition physical security and stockpiles.

The contractor receives the ordnance from the military units at a designated ammunition point and logs all munitions received not only in its database but also in the military's tracking system. Once the contractor constructs demolition "shots" out of the items they've received, Hamley said military and contract employees execute the movement to a range and conduct the demolition operation - such as open burning or detonation - according to the type of munitions.


EOD Specialist's Death Likely Linked to Friendly Fire

Beaver, Ohio Justin Helton, 25, of Southeast Ohio was tragically killed in Afghanistan while serving as an Army EOD specialist. He was one of five American service members killed in what has been described as the worst friendly fire accident in the 14-year history of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Helton served in the Army for four and a half years and had been in Afghanistan for two months, according to family members. This was his first deployment and was expected to last about six months.


Inventor Sentenced Ten Years For Sham IED Detector

London, England James McCormick, a British inventor, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling more than $50 million worth of fake IED detectors to the Iraq Interior Ministry amid an Al Qaida bombing campaign lasting from 2007 to 2010. According to court records, the anti-IED devices, called "Advanced Selection Equipment", were based on golf ball finders produced in the US.


Afghan Border Patrol Unit Receives EOD Training

Spin Boldak District, Afghanistan In an effort prepare the Afghanistan Border police to handle IEDs, the U.S. military has been actively training Afghans on EOD procedures to include procedures to detect and dispose of IEDs. Air Force EOD Team 6, 466B Flight, Task Force Paladin recently completed a joint training validation event with U.S. Air Force EOD technicians. Being validated will allow the Afghan Border Police, or ABP, to receive more equipment to train more technicians, and respond safely to IEDs.

Afghan Border Police 1st Lt. Azim Noori, the 3rd Zone, Quick Reaction Force Kandak lead technician, has attended three counter-IED and explosives schools and is currently the 3rd Zone primary counter-IED instructor for the Explosive Hazard Reduction Course, or EHRC, in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The training is important in light of an impending departure of ISAF forces. Thanks to the training exercises, the ABP will have qualified EOD technicians ready to take over operations.

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