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US, Thai EOD Technicians Share Lessons Learned

A technician from the 53rd EOD Company talks through hook and line procedures with Thai EOD counterparts. Credit: U.S. Army

U.S. Army explosive ordnance disposal Soldiers trained with Thai military and police EOD technicians in Hua Hin, Thailand during Exercise Ravens Challenge Jan. 12-16.

During the “Welcome to Thailand” training lanes, Soldiers from the 53rd EOD Company responded to a variety of scenarios based on lessons learned by Thai EOD technicians in heavily mined jungles.

The 53rd EOD Company is part of the 3rd EOD Battalion, 71st EOD Group, 20th CBRNE Command – the only U.S. Defense Department formation that combats global chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats.

In addition to enabling military operations, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington-based 3rd EOD Battalion covers explosive mitigation missions in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, California, western Montana and in parts of Nevada and Arizona.

The Yakima Training Center, Washington-based 53rd EOD Company Soldiers were the winners of the 71st EOD Group Team of the Year competition.

U.S. Army Col. Heidi Hoyle, the 71st EOD Group commander, and Lt. Col. Stephen Kavanaugh, the commander of 3rd EOD Battalion, attended the training exercise in Thailand.

“The Thai police and military have good organization and equipment,” said Kavanaugh, a native of Roanoke, Virginia. “They have a constant threat that is internal to a part of their country.”

During the exercise, Kavanaugh said his EOD troops conducted route clearance, defeated mock improvised explosive devices and responded to a hostage scenario.

Kavanaugh said his Soldiers represented their nation, Army and profession well during the week-long exercise.

“The highlight (of the exercise) was the opportunity to share experiences and learn the types of scenarios that the Thai forces encounter,” said Kavanaugh.

Credit: Walter Ham, 20th CBRNE Command, edited for context and length.

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