AFCEC hosts explosive ordnance disposal workshop to evaluate future capabilities

  • Published
  • By Mekka Parish
  • AFCEC Public Affairs
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center hosted an unexploded explosive ordnance, or UXO, mitigation workshop here last month to gain collaborate insight from the global explosive ordnance disposal, or EOD, community. 

AFCEC's Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and Requirements and Acquisition divisions partnered to host the event, where topics included rapid airfield damage repair, or RADR, UXO and EOD modernization.  The event also involved technology demonstrations including a recovery of airbases denied by ordnance, or RADBO vehicle, and a ZEUS III laser integrated with a CAT1/A1 mine resistant ambush protected vehicle.

"It went great and was an overall success," said Brian Skibba, AFCEC airbase acquisition branch chief.    "We validated the technological path we are on to meet UXO mitigation goals and requirements of the RADR construct."

The workshop was an opportunity for EOD operators and core stakeholders to hold cross-functional discussions and help ensure the future needs of warfighters and Combat Command-driven RADR timelines are met, said Dr. John Olive, Air Force EOD subject matter expert.

"This workshop was critical in gathering operational requirements for future RADR UXO mitigation efforts and developing key performance parameters for continued research, development, testing and evaluation of UXO mitigation technologies," Olive said.

The backgrounds of the 23 workshop participants were diverse.  They ranged from mid-level technicians to EOD senior leaders from training and operational units, along with civil engineer requirements and acquisitions experts.  The diversity of participants and viewpoints, especially from junior Airmen, was an integral element, said organizers.

"You get a broader view.  We need to look toward the younger guys to get an idea of what they envision," said Marshall Dutton, EOD modernization program manager.  "They are the future leaders and they are going to be the ones living with whatever we develop and field."

This was the first workshop of this nature.  Because of its success, organizers plan to transform the UXO mitigation workshop into a more formal working group that meets on a recurrent basis to support ongoing research, development, testing and evaluation efforts.