Story and photos by Airman Edgar Grimaldo
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs January 14, 2022
Throughout the course of four days, the 786th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team welcomed the Polish Army 16th Airfield Renovation Battalion EOD team to Ramstein Air Base, Dec. 13-17, 2021.
“Engineering dynamic partnerships with our North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies really allows us to learn how our allied nations think and practice,” said Airman 1st Class Matthew Haber, 786 CES EOD team lead. “This drives us to become expert operators in our field. Not only making us better as a flight, but allowing us to ensure air lethality and stay ready for any mission.”
While the exercises are normally held in Poland, the 786 CES EOD team had the opportunity to host the training this year for the first time.
“Exercises such as these are the driving force for strengthening relationships throughout NATO and building partnerships throughout Europe,” said Winter. “This is one of the ways we accomplish that. Not only do we go out and work and learn skills from them, but we also bring them out here to show them the way we do things, increasing interoperability.”
The battalion was given a refresher course on multiple skills, such as clearing runways, demonstrations on shape charges and post-blast courses to name a few. They also were sent through multiple scenarios in their kill house. The kill house is an intricate facility packed with a multitude of traps ranging from tripwires to light-sensitive traps.
“Working with the Polish has been very good and informative,” said Winter. “Their EOD program is relatively young and it’s interesting seeing how they are developing. They got here and hit the ground running.”