Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The women of explosive ordnance disposal
Air Force News ^ | Laura McGowan

Posted on 03/22/2010 6:42:59 PM PDT by SandRat

3/22/2010 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) -- While every job in the Air Force is important for the success of the mission, there are some jobs that leave no room for error.

One such career field is the explosive ordnance disposal specialty whose motto, "Initial Success or Total Failure" are words to live by -- literally.

EOD technicians conduct post blast analysis to determine techniques, tactics, procedures of the enemy, train the force on proper techniques when faced with improvised explosive devices, provide clearing and explosive hazard support for combat Airmen and support flying operations by rendering aircraft safe of any explosive hazards that may arise. They also support local communities at their home stations by responding to any calls when munitions are found.

"The (United States Air Force) EOD program is a very strong specialty, and the perspective and diversity our female Airmen bring with them has been vital to our success," said Chief Master Sgt. Robert Hodges, the EOD career field manager. "These warriors are standing side-by-side with their male counterparts, engaged in life-threatening missions, saving lives every day."

The Air Force has lost 12 EOD technicians to the war on terrorism. One of them one was Senior Airman Elizabeth Lonki, a 23-year-old EOD technician from New Castle, Del., assigned to the 775th Civil Engineer Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. She was killed Jan. 7, 2007, when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated while she and her team were performing duties in the Baghdad area.

A far cry from "sugar and spice and everything nice", there are 55 female EOD technicians in the Air Force out of a total of 970. Three who serve here with the explosive ordnance disposal unit at the 88th Air Base Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. One is currently deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan.

While she was growing up, Senior Airman Marie Martinson said she wanted to become a scuba diver and to work with animals. She initially, went to school for art, but started taking foreign language classes, hoping to enter the Air Force as a linguist. There were no openings in that career field.

"Because of the inherent danger, you must volunteer for EOD," she said. "I told my job counselor that I wanted the furthest thing from a desk job."

Airman Martinson said her recruiter told her if she wanted the best, to go EOD because it was the most exciting job the Air Force had to offer.

"He was absolutely right; I love it," she said. "I have the coolest job in the world! It's not boring, it's exhilarating and worthwhile."

Airman Martinson recently returned from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan and said her parents are very proud of her for serving her country, but they worry about her a lot because of her career field. She tries to keep them updated, especially when deployed, to help ease their concerns.

Staff Sgt. Amber Hanlon, an EOD technician at Wright-Patterson AFB, just returned from Kandahar, Afghanistan in January. She has also deployed to Iraq several times.

During her second tour to Baghdad, Iraq, she said she and her team participated in multiple operations that encompassed the last big push by U.S. forces into a known Al-Qaeda stronghold outside Baquba, Iraq. Their efforts allowed U.S. forces the freedom of movement needed to regain control of that vital land area.

"I don't feel that gender has anything to do with gaining respect in EOD," Sergeant Hanlon said. "Every EOD tech I know judges other techs on whether they would like to work with them in combat or not.

"Respect is definitely earned in EOD since you have to trust your co-workers (or family as I consider most EOD techs) with your life on a daily basis," she said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: dangeruxb; eod; iraq; uxb; womenfrwn

Senior Airmen Elizabeth Loncki in Iraq. She was killed Jan. 7, 2007, as her explosive ordnance disposal team tried to dismantle a car bomb planted near Baghdad, Iraq.

(U.S. Air Force photo)

1 posted on 03/22/2010 6:42:59 PM PDT by SandRat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: MozartLover; Old Sarge; Jemian; repubmom; 91B; HiJinx; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; clintonh8r; ...
FR WAR NEWS!
If you would like to be added to / removed from FRWN,
please FReepmail Sandrat.

WARNING: FRWN can be an EXTREMELY HIGH-VOLUME PING LIST!!

2 posted on 03/22/2010 6:43:23 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SandRat

special breed indeed.....


3 posted on 03/22/2010 6:48:09 PM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SandRat
Those girls are something else - it takes nerves of steel to be an EOD!

Lamh Foistenach Abu!
4 posted on 03/22/2010 6:48:24 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines, RVN '69 - St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SandRat

I can’t speak at all about their nerves, but when I was raising baby pigs (300 a week) I had young women handling the babies, as they were more dexterous, faster, and kinder than young men.

Some of that natural skill would obviously give a woman an edge in a tricky bomb situation.


5 posted on 03/22/2010 6:52:27 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SandRat

WOW

Those are some brave women


6 posted on 03/22/2010 6:53:14 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Balding_Eagle
Amen! God Bless Them!

But you gotta remember that women have been doing everything men can do for decades now...but we've been doing it in high heels while dancing backwards! ;)

7 posted on 03/22/2010 6:57:56 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save the Earth. It's the only planet with Chocolate.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Diana in Wisconsin

OH yeah, but remember, we’ve gotta catch you if you fall!


8 posted on 03/22/2010 7:05:43 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Tennessee Nana

Here in South Dakota there used to be an army depot called “Igloo”.”Black Hills Ordnance Depot”.

Built around 1942, it housed ammo and bombs, grenades and such.

The munitions were made by the local women and the sons of these women would talk about their mothers making munitions,
yea they say,, my mom could make a hell of a grenade


9 posted on 03/22/2010 7:13:41 PM PDT by South Dakota (Drill baby, drill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Diana in Wisconsin

Ginger Rogers

:)


10 posted on 03/22/2010 7:14:58 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: South Dakota

dangerous work


11 posted on 03/22/2010 7:15:51 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: ConorMacNessa
If you have not seen the movie “Hurt Locker” I can highly recommend it. There is a scene in a grocery store that says it all. Adrenaline addiction is a real bitch.
12 posted on 03/22/2010 7:17:15 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; alfa6; Iris7; PhilDragoo; Colonel_Flagg; colorado tanker; OwenKellogg

Spankentruppen ping


13 posted on 03/22/2010 7:18:19 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (Petroleum, oil, lubricants. Add liquid oxygen. What could go wrong?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Diana in Wisconsin

LOL!!!!!


14 posted on 03/22/2010 7:18:57 PM PDT by rabidralph
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: mad_as_he$$
Haven't seen it, Mad - will take a look.

Lamh Foistenach Abu!
15 posted on 03/22/2010 7:22:03 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines, RVN '69 - St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: SandRat
When I was in Vietnam, it was common practice to have the wife walk in front of the family ox in case of landmines. You might say they were the original EODs.
16 posted on 03/22/2010 8:16:46 PM PDT by Nosterrex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SandRat

Wow.....


17 posted on 03/22/2010 9:02:30 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Professional Engineer; snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; alfa6; Iris7; Colonel_Flagg; colorado tanker; ...

18 posted on 03/22/2010 9:21:32 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hussein: Islamo-Commie from Kenya)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: South Dakota
The munitions were made by the local women and the sons of these women would talk about their mothers making munitions, yea they say,, my mom could make a hell of a grenade

My Aunt made 500 and 1,000 lb bombs at the Cornhusker Army Ammunition plant. They poured the molten explosives into the bomb cases.

Earlier, during WW-II she had made bomb fuses at "Stop-Nut", where my mother worked as an elevator operator, being too young to work in the factory. Later it became Elgin watches.

Much later, I attended electrical engineering classes in the same building, also did most of my computer work there, since it also housed the University Computer Center. (Computer filled a room, IBM-360-65). My wife worked there as a student I/O clerk.

19 posted on 03/22/2010 10:36:17 PM PDT by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: PhilDragoo

Dang right we can handle it. Women rule the world, now if we could just get one as President!


20 posted on 03/23/2010 4:23:58 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Looking for our Sam Adams)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it

Then why do the majority of you girls vote for Socialism?


21 posted on 03/23/2010 4:26:26 AM PDT by bmwcyle (Free the Navy Seals)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Balding_Eagle

You have an answer for everything, don’t you? :)


22 posted on 03/23/2010 5:44:49 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save the Earth. It's the only planet with Chocolate.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: bmwcyle; snippy_about_it

“Then why do the majority of you girls vote for Socialism?”

I’ll answer that. Not because I’ve ever voted for Socialism, but because Socialists, and the rest of us by our INACTION have allowed our society to disintigrate to the point where girls no longer have FATHERS in the home.

IMHO, when you don’t have a strong FATHER in the home, you ain’t got sh!t and Mother Government easily slips in the back door to seduce you with rainbow skittles and free ponies!

EVERY Liberal woman I know has a nonexistent or horrible relationship with her father (if she even knows who he is) and blames her mother for the state of her life; which in most cases is true. None that I know have religion in their lives, and BOY do they RAIL against God,,,someone they claim to not even believe in!

We’ve got two generations of women now that have done their darndest to keep men out of the picture...and the chickens are home to roost. ;)

Thanks again, NOW Hags! Thanks again, FemiNazis! Thanks again, spineless CongressCritters! Thanks again SCOTUS (Roe v. Wade).

We brought it upon ourselves.


23 posted on 03/23/2010 5:58:24 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save the Earth. It's the only planet with Chocolate.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: SandRat

Elizabeth, Beth to her friends, likes puppies, sunsets . . . and blowing stuff up.


24 posted on 03/23/2010 7:23:12 AM PDT by colorado tanker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PhilDragoo

Oooooooo, gonna swipe that one.


25 posted on 03/23/2010 1:15:04 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (Petroleum, oil, lubricants. Add liquid oxygen. What could go wrong?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: colorado tanker

She’s well rounded that way.


26 posted on 03/23/2010 1:18:17 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (Petroleum, oil, lubricants. Add liquid oxygen. What could go wrong?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Professional Engineer
:-))

Nice to see you're still on the Spankentruppen trail, PE.

27 posted on 03/23/2010 1:25:17 PM PDT by colorado tanker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: colorado tanker

I’m trying to keep it up.

I even had an out of the blue request to create a ping list a few weeks ago.

Go figure.


28 posted on 03/23/2010 1:36:50 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (Petroleum, oil, lubricants. Add liquid oxygen. What could go wrong?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Professional Engineer

It’s an institution, PE. The FR spellchecker doesn’t even pick up spankentruppen anymore. :-))


29 posted on 03/23/2010 1:39:23 PM PDT by colorado tanker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: colorado tanker

LOL, I didn’t know that.

spankentruppen = spelling ok. Whaddayaknow.

There are a lot of hits in search engines too. All point here.


30 posted on 03/23/2010 1:46:40 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (Petroleum, oil, lubricants. Add liquid oxygen. What could go wrong?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: bmwcyle

I’m not one of “those” girls. I offer that there are just as many men that vote democrat as well as women.


31 posted on 03/23/2010 5:11:03 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Looking for our Sam Adams)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson