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EOD Soldiers Test Liquid Abrasive Cutter on High Explosives

Soldiers from the 21st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company (Weapons of Mass Destruction) recently conducted the first ever test of a liquid abrasive cutter (LAC) on high explosives.

Seven EOD technicians from the Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico-based 21st EOD Company remotely cut eight MK84 bombs at New Mexico Tech’s Energetic Material Research and Testing Center Jan. 29.

The 21st EOD Company is part of the 242nd EOD Battalion, 71st EOD Group, 20th CBRNE Command. The Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-based 20th CBRNE Command is the U.S. Defense Department’s only multifunctional command that combats CBRNE threats around the world.

“Experiments conducted with the LAC will eventually contribute to the EOD community’s understanding of explosive reactions to different dynamic operations,” said 21st EOD Company 2nd Platoon Leader 1st Lt. Mark Wiseman.

A native of St. Louis, Wiseman said the 21st EOD Company was selected to test the liquid abrasive cutter because of its relationship with the organization that designed it, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Along with Wiseman, the EOD Soldiers involved in the LAC tests were Staff Sgt. Joseph Salmond from Pittsburgh; Staff Sgt. Jason Trahan from Ault, Colorado; Staff Sgt. Michael Laurie from Gloucester, Massachusetts; Staff Sgt. Anthony Dymond from Montclair, California; Sgt. Zachary Pickard from Shakopee, Minnesota; and Spc. Andrew Altonji from Santa Fe, New Mexico. The seasoned Army EOD team has a total of eight combat deployments.

The Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory took part in the tests.

Col. Heidi Hoyle, the commander of the Fort Carson, Colorado-based 71st EOD Group, said the experiment could benefit the entire EOD and scientific community.

“This experimental procedure looks to provide the greater EOD and energetics scientific community increased fidelity on water-based cutting operations,” said Hoyle.

Article by Walter Ham, 20th CBRNE Command, edited for context and format.

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