EOD Candidate for Congress on Lars Larson Show Tonight

Retired EOD Brian Mast will be appearing at 8:30 EST on the Lars Larson show to speak about his candidacy for Congress and the threats IEDs and explosives, in response to yesterday's horrific attacks in California.

To find the local information, viewers can visit //www.larslarson.com/affiliates/

For more information on Brian Mast, visit the UXOInfo.com website article.

Retired EOD Seeks to Continue Service as Congressman

People enter into the public service arena of politics for many reasons -- family tradition, a legal background, an aptitude for business, -- but Brian Mast came to the decision to run for office in a less traditional way.

Mast made the decision with his wife, Brianna, while recovering from an life-altering injury sustained in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. The Army staff sergeant was lying in a hospital bed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after losing both of his legs when a landmine exploded. An EOD Technician, Mast felt as if his life's work serving his country had come to an abrupt end, but it was there in the hospital that Mast and his wife realized there could be another way to serve.

"I was thinking how the best thing I had ever done in my life was now in my past," Mast said. "I was thirty years old when I was injured. I thought I would never be able to do anything better than serve the United States of America, but it was then that I realized that though I wouldn't be jumping out of planes and kicking in doors, I could still serve my country through public office."

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Congressional Oversight of Army EOD Program

Washington, D.C. The House of Representatives Armed Services Committee released a report on H.R. 1735, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2016 which included language regarding the oversight of the Army's EOD program. The report "recognizes the importance of the Army EOD force as a unique and highly technical enabler" and also the importance of Army EOD's role in supporting of civilian law enforcement authorities in contingency scenarios.

Over concerns that the Army has not cleared identified future capacity and capability requirements for its EOD force, the Committee has requested a briefing by December 1, 2015 to include:

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Senator Rubio Has a "Blast" at EOD School

Eglin, AFB, Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio visited the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal (NAVSCOLEOD) last week to tour the school and several of its practical training areas.

Rubio visited the EOD Memorial and the current military construction project at NAVSCOLEOD, which includes the establishment of training spaces for divisions that are currently housed in temporary facilities, as well as other infrastructure and security enhancements.

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Construction Begins on New Foreign Ordnance Exploration Center

Huntsville, Alabama A ground-breaking ceremony was held at Redstone Arsenal to mark the start of construction of the Missile and Space Intelligence Center's (MSIC's) Explosive Ordnance Exploitation complex. The $10M construction project is scheduled to take two years to complete with plans for the 25,000 square foot facility calling for seven stand-alone facilities and two open storage buildings. The explosive operations building will be used for missile disassembly and has four bays and an explosive proof infrastructure.

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National EOD Day Proposed

Washington, D.C. Representative Crawford (R- Arkansas) introduced a Resolution in the House to designate the first Saturday in May as National EOD Day. The Resolution also calls for the designation of the infamous 'Initial Success or Total Failure' motto to be adopted as the official motto of the EOD organizations in the United States Armed Forces.

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Bill From Colorado Lawmakers Influences Mineral Rights on Ranges

Denver, Colorado A tentative lease for mineral rights associated with the former Lowry Bombing Range is in jeopardy from a bill introduced by Colorado lawmakers to impose strict rules for fracking near hazardous waste sites including sites with munitions and explosives. The mineral rights associated with the former Lowry Bombing Range are controlled by the Colorado State Land Board. The Land Board who over sees approximately 4 million acres of land typically solicits bids from energy companies for rights to access the natural resources including oil and natural gas. Reportedly, ConocoPhillips agreed to a $137M lease for oil and natural gas rights underneath the 21,000 acre former Lowry Bombing Range. The lease was approved by the Land Board in January.

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Capitol Hill Forms EOD Caucus

Washington, D.C. Congressman Rick Crawford (R-Arkansas), a former Army EOD Technician in the late 1980s, serves as co-chair along with Congresswoman Susan Davis, of California, of the recently formed House EOD Caucus. The 19-member caucus was formed to educate lawmakers on how the importance of EOD on the Global War on Terror including counter-IED operations.

To promote the newly formed caucus, more than a dozen EOD soldiers from the 55th EOD unit out of Fort Belvoir, Virginia were invited to the inaugural event to showcase various technologies used by EOD. On display were interrogation technologies such as X-rays systems, personnel protection gear including newly design bomb suits, and various IED defeat tools.

EOD Caucus
Pictured - Congressman Crawford, Congresswoman Davis, Staff Sgt. Josh Bowden, and Pvt. 1st Class Thomas McCockill of the 55th EOD.

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Governor Weighs in on Stalemate Between USACE and State Regulators

Honolulu, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie declared an "emergency proclamation" to allow the USACE to remove UXO from state lands without the need to follow strict state laws. The decision ended a long battle between the State Regulators and the USACE over prerequisites required to support UXO removal actions. For example, the declaration eliminates the need for an Environmental Assessment in support of munitions disposal operations.

The reasons provided by the Governor's office regarding the decision included the protection of human health and the potential for loss of federal funds to address UXO in Hawaii if the USACE was not allowed to execute its work. The decision reportedly has outraged various environmental groups who feel that the Governor has over-stepped his authorities. In response, the Governor's office has issued a lengthy FAQ section to its website addressing the potential concerns that have been raised over the decision.

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Hawaii UXO Earmarks for FY2011 Defense Budget

Washington, D.C. The office of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii issued a news release on their website on the earmarks slated for Hawaii in the FY2011 Defense Appropriations Bill recently approved by the Senate Committee on Appropriations. The earmarks include over $7M for UXO related projects including:

$1.75 million for initiatives related to military munitions, particularly along the Leeward Coast as part of the $5M Army Conservation and Ecosystem Management Funds to support the Army's stewardship of the land through ordnance monitoring, fire control management, and community outreach.

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