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Air Force Featured Stories

EOD Airmen first to graduate Army air assault school

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Andrew Park
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Two Airmen from the 386th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal unit graduated from the U.S. Army Air Assault School held at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, April 14, 2017.

The unprecedented graduation was the first time in history that Airmen, while serving on a contingency operation deployment, have graduated from this particular course.

Senior Airmen Domenic Martino and Daniel Giansanti, both 386th CES EOD technicians, attended the 10-day course where they learned techniques for troop insertion, landing zone set up and evacuation operations involving helicopters. These types of operations are typically used when operating behind enemy lines where vehicles and people must be moved quickly to ensure their safety, explained Martino.

“It was basically all attention to detail. That’s what they taught you throughout the course,” said Martino, who is deployed from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. “I caught up on it pretty quickly because throughout my EOD school it was all about attention to detail.”

The Army recently began offering the course to U.S. Army Central Command area of responsibility service members and accepted its first students at the beginning of April 2017.

Over the duration of the course, Martino and Giansanti learned techniques such as combat assault, sling load operations, where they set up helicopter carry loads, and rappelling operations.

“There are so many fine details you have to look at in each inspection,” Martino explained. “It could be a single link count in the chains and if you’re one off, then that’s it; it’s a discrepancy or deficiency.”

The 386th CES sent the two Airmen based on their demonstrated proficiency and professionalism in their work, said Master Sgt. Travis Hughes, a 386th CES EOD flight chief deployed from Seymour Johnson AFB.

Attending this course will help the Airmen and their teams better perform in a variety of austere locations required to complete the wing’s mission.

“Part of our mission set is to support Army teams, and what we’ve found over the last few years is that we have to prepare our guys for these types of mission sets,” said Hughes. “We have to make sure our guys can safely respond to incidents that require an air insert. Getting them to this course allows them to get that foundation so that when we have to respond via air insert, they can work safely around the aircraft.”

On a more personal level, Martino said he felt that graduating from this challenging course was yet another major milestone he reached in his military career. And it is one he is particularly proud of.