741st Ordnance Battalion trains at Satsop Business Park
An Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team conducts a vehicle borne improvise explosive device training lane during team lead certification at Satsop Business Park
Using the devastating attacks at the Boston Marathon in 2013 as a scenario, the 741st Ordnance Battalion sought to improve not only its Explosive Ordnance Disposal team’s expertise, but also how the staff can incorporate into the simulation.
The EOD Team Lead Certification lanes brought a new problem set to the soldiers going through them, as the simulation used during the 741st Ordnance Battalion’s annual training event. Using a scenario that is based domestically, the restrictions on how the disposal teams conduct their business is stricter.
Team Lead Certification for EOD teams is hard to come by, and that’s why the 787th Ordnance Company, 3rd Ordnance Battalion decided to attend the training as well.
“There’s a huge benefit of having these Team Leader Certification lanes, which helps soldiers from specialist to staff sergeant get their certification be able to promote in their expertise,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Pierce, commander 741st Ordnance Battalion. “We’ve conducted more than 40 lanes so far toward the certification, which is one reason that the active duty members wanted to come to the training.”
The battalion was able to secure a unique training site, using the Satsop Business Park, which boasts old nuclear reactors that have never been used. This site has the advantage of giving the EOD Teams a chance to use live demolition.
“Everyone asks to come out to Satsop; it’s one of the better training facilities that we have access too,” said Staff Sgt. Brian Salaver, readiness non-commissioned officer for the 319th Ordnance Company. “The best thing about it is that we can use the inside and the outside. Most training locations are limited to outside use with limited space for demolition.”
“My favorite part has been this venue because we can do live demolition out here and it gives us a lot of flexibility to train. There are so many different facets to this facility that make it ideal,” said Sgt. James Grant, 787th Ordnance Company, 3rd Ordnance Battalion. “To be able to do subterranean here is invaluable.”
An Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team conducts a subterranean robot reconnaissance training lane during team lead certification at Satsop Business Park (Photo by Sara Morris).
The units were able to conduct live demolition during their simulated vehicle borne improvise explosive device training lane, while also using the facilities subterranean level to conduct training. Having diverse terrain for the training brings opportunities that many of the EOD teams have not been able to experience at traditional military installation sites.
“The training has been fantastic,” Grant added. “The Washington National Guard has put together most of the training. They have put on a great event while providing observer/controllers, securing the venue and devising most of the scenarios using a stateside scenario.”
After wrapping up, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team looks back on a successful annual training event. They were able to engage not just the teams simulating the downrange response, but also its staff using it as the white cell and integrating a command post exercise within their annual training event.