Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Staff Sgt Kenneth W Bennett killed in Afghanistan

This morning, the Pentagon announced the death of a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier who was killed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Kenneth W. Bennett, 26, of Glendora, Calif., died Nov. 10, 2012, in Sperwan Gar, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained when he encountered an improvised explosive device during combat operations.

Unit records indicate Staff Sgt. Bennett entered in the Army in November 2004, and attended Initial Army Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Advanced Individual Training (AIT) was at both Redstone Arsenal, Al. and Eglin Air Force Base, Fl.

His AIT training was for that of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Specialist.

Staff Sgt. Bennett arrived at JBLM in February 2009, was assigned to the 53rd Ordnance Company (EOD), 3rd Ordnance Battalion (EOD).

November 12, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Department of Defense, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wounded EOD hero thanks those who support the troops

Wicked Local Danvers  September 13, 2012

Danvers native Todd Hammond, U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class, shows his Purple Heart medal to his then two-year-old daughter as his wife Christine looks on. Hammond was presented the medal for wounds received in action while serving in Afghanistan in 2011.

Every Saturday in downtown Danvers, residents can find Jimmy George, retired Danvers police officer, at his usual post near the flagpole collecting donations for Operation Troop Support.

One weekend George had a handsome young man on crutches donate a few dollars to the cause. It turned out to be Danvers native Todd Hammond, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class in the U.S. Navy. On April 6, 2011, Hammond was clearing suspected Improvised Explosive Devices in the vicinity of an Afghan National Police checkpoint when an IED detonated directly beneath him, causing severe injuries. His wounds resulted in the amputation of his right leg just below the knee, a shattered right femur, a broken left foot and multiple soft tissue injuries as well as traumatic brain injury from the force of the blast.

George recognized the young soldier when Hammond returned home to Danvers to visit his mom, Janet Hammond, while he was recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“My wife had gone into CVS to get something and I saw Jimmy George sitting out in the Square,” Hammond said. “I hopped over to him and put something in his bucket. Then he came over to our truck and told me that he had a picture of me at his house. He knew who I was and knew of my mom. I remembered him when he was a cop working in downtown Danvers when I was young. And his sons were in Civil Air Patrol with me.”

George who volunteers for Operation Troop Support in Danvers had heard the story of the young soldier. But because Hammond wanted to keep a low profile, few residents knew what the Danvers High School graduate from the Class of 1989 had endured.

Hammond, who served his country for more than 17 years in both the Navy and Marine Corps and was deployed to more than a dozen countries, said as the war rages on he hopes that his story motivates people to continue to support the troops like George does. He has experienced first-hand the difference that care packages, letters and cards sent to soldiers can make, not only to troops in the field but for those wounded warriors at the hospitals when they return home.

Please read more about Todd Hammond at Wicked Local


September 13, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wounded EOD warrior returns

by Marine EOD  September 10, 2012

When U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Thomas Howard McRae rolled into a Juneau pizza parlor earlier this week, people couldn’t help but stare.

The two missing legs. The prosthetic arm. The wheelchair.

Then, the grey T-shirt that says, “If you keep staring, they may grow back.”

“You may as well have fun,” McRae said with a sly grin.

The 30-year-old Explosive Ordnance Technician returned to Juneau this week to visit his parents and the place where he was born and raised. It was his first time back since he was wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Jan. 16.

McRae was greeted by friends and family, and was feted at a local high school football game held in his honor Saturday evening.

“It was good, although from the bleachers to the field, I can’t really see that far, but I had commentators,” he said, nodding to his father, Tim Ryan, and one of his sisters, Jessica Ryan. “But yeah, it was fun, it was nice. Everybody came out for the most part and said hi.”

From watching the ease with which McRae plays with his 4-year-old daughter, Aidan, and jokes with his family at the restaurant table, it’s hard to imagine that his parents once worried their son would never talk again.

“The scariest part of the whole thing for me was the brain injury,” says Tim. “… It’s scary — when you have a brain injury, they don’t even talk to him, they talk to us, and that’s what I wanted to get rid of.”

Tim elaborated, “They cut a hole in his head and stuck a straw down into his brain, and then they put an instrument down inside the straw and grabbed the (bone) fragment and pulled it out.”

“Yeah,” McRae added, “and then they left the rest. They only pulled out the one.”

“What the blast did was it took the bone structure behind his right eye, and blew it like a shotgun blast into his brain,” Tim explained. “So somewhere on his head, they took part of his skull and replaced the structure behind his eye so his brain didn’t fall down into the eye socket.”

“Because that would have been creepy,” McRae said.

Please read the entire article at Marine EOD

September 10, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Staff Sgt Jonathan Philip Schmidt killed in Afghanistan

 Fay Observer September 5, 2012

An Army carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Staff Sgt. Jonathan P. Schmidt at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Monday.

A Fort Bragg soldier killed Saturday in Afghanistan was an explosive ordnance disposal expert who had deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Jonathan Philip Schmidt, 28, of Petersburg, Va., was killed when he and others came under fire in Batur Village, Afghanistan.

Schmidt served with the 767th Ordnance Company, 192nd Ordnance Battalion at Fort Bragg.

His higher command, the 20th Support Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., said Schmidt joined the Army in 2003.

His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Badge, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, the NCO Professional Development Ribbon and the Army Service Ribbon.

Schmidt was also awarded the Army Parachutist Badge and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Basic and Senior Badges.

September 5, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Sean P Carson killed in Afghanistan Black Hawk Crash

Seattle Associated Press  August 20, 2012

 The Defense Department says a 32-year-old sailor from Des Moines was among seven Americans killed last week when a U.S. military helicopter crashed during a firefight with insurgents in a remote area of southern Afghanistan.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Petty Officer Technician 1st Class Sean P. Carson died Aug. 16 in the crash northeast of Kandahar.

He was assigned to an explosive ordnance disposal mobile unit in San Diego.

Navy officials say Carson enlisted in May 1999 and graduated from boot camp at recruit training command in Great Lakes, Ill. in August 1999.

His awards and decorations include the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Battle Efficiency Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

August 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Navy EOD Sean P Carson killed in Afghanistan Black Hawk Crash

The Department of Defense has identified another San Diego-based service member killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan last week.

Sean P. Carson, 32, was assigned to an explosive ordnance disposal mobile unit in San Diego. Carson was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Petty Officer, first class.


August 21, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , | Leave a comment

Staff Sgt. Eric S. Holman, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, killed by IED in Afghanistan

Post Gazette.com  August 18, 2012

Eric Holman was motivated, meticulous and strong-willed.

Those qualities had served him well during his nine-year Army career, according to his stepmother, Jan Holman.

Staff Sgt. Holman, a 1990 Avonworth graduate, was killed Wednesday in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province by an improvised explosive device, according to the Department of Defense. He was 39.

A large contingent of family members, including his mother, Carol, of Franklin Park, and his father David and stepmother, of Forward Township, Butler County, were at Dover Air Force Base, in Delaware, when his body was brought back to the United States this morning.

“He had planned to make the Army a career,” Jan Holman said. “He liked everything about it.”

After graduating from Penn State in 1995 with a degree in criminal justice, Sgt. Holman held a variety of jobs. He drove cross-country for his father’s trucking company, operated a limousine service and did construction work.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he joined the Army as an enlisted man at age 29. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division and became a member of the Army’s Golden Knights parachute team. “They were like a family for him,” his stepmother said.

About three years ago he began training as an explosive ordnance disposal, or EOD, specialist. Assigned to the 192nd Ordnance Battalion, 52nd Ordnance Group, 20th Support Command, he had been stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. He had looked forward to his deployment in Afghanistan, which began in January, Jan Holman said. He was scheduled to come home in September.

He had been on patrol with a U.S. Special Forces team in the Afghan mountains when he was killed.

Please see the original and read more here

Fay Observer

A Fort Bragg soldier died Wednesday in Afghanistan of wounds he suffered when he encountered an improvised explosive device, the Defense Department said Friday.

Staff Sgt. Eric S. Holman, 39, of Evans City, Pa., died in Ghazni province. He was assigned to 192nd Ordnance Battalion, 52nd Ordnance Group, 20th Support Command at Fort Bragg.

He was an explosive ordnance disposal soldier, the 20th Support Command said in a press release issued Friday night.

“They are warriors who are properly trained, equipped and integrated to attack, defeat and exploit unexploded ordnance, improvised explosive devices and weapons of mass destruction,” reads the U.S. Army’s website.

Holman used to perform with the Golden Knights, the U.S. Army Parachute Team. “The entire family of the Golden Knights offer our deepest regrets and gratitude to our family member Eric Holman,” the parachute team announced on its Facebook page Thursday. “Thank You and you will be missed.”

Please see the original here

August 17, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , | Leave a comment

Marine Explosive Ordnance Disposal Staff Sgt. Sky R. Mote killed in Afghanistan

Sacbee  August 16, 2012

For Russ Mote and his family, the grief comes in waves as they remember the son and brother who was killed a week ago while serving with the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan.

The comfort comes as they remember Staff Sgt. Sky R. Mote’s characteristic smile and his conviction that the work he and his team were doing in an Afghan village in Helmand province was making a difference.

They were further comforted Thursday by the outpouring of support from El Dorado County residents and others who waved flags from Highway 50 overpasses and lined streets in El Dorado Hills as a motorcade bearing the young Marine’s body passed en route from McClellan Air Park to Green Valley Mortuary.

Sky Mote, 27, and two other members of the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion from Camp Pendleton – Capt. Matthew P. Manoukian, 29, of Los Altos Hills and Gunnery Sgt. Ryan Jeschke, 31, of Herndon, Va. – were killed Aug. 10.

Initial reports were that the three were shot by an Afghan police officer after sharing a meal with the man. Russ Mote said he is waiting to hear the story from members of his son’s unit.

“Sky always had a smile on his face. … I’ve only seen three pictures where he wasn’t smiling,” Mote said, and those were official Corps photos in which the Marine was supposed to look somber.

Sky Mote joined the Marines nine years ago, after graduating from Union Mine High School in his hometown of El Dorado.

Please see the original and read more here


August 17, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghanistan Black Hawk helicopter crash leaves 7 U.S. troops, 2 Navy SEALS, 1 EOD, 4 others dead, includes 1 Afghan Interpreter

Sean P. Carson, 32, was assigned to an explosive ordnance disposal mobile unit in San Diego. Carson was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Petty Officer, first class.

Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks, 28, was one of seven Americans killed in the crash Thursday during a firefight with insurgents northeast of Kandahar, officials said.

Associated Press  August 20, 2012

HONOLULU—U.S. Army officials say four soldiers based at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii were killed last week when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Afghanistan.

The Taliban claimed they gunned down the Black Hawk, leading to the crash on Thursday.

Army officials said Monday that among the seven Americans and four Afghans killed were: 37-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Brian Hornsby of Melbourne, Fla., 29-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Suresh Krause, of Cathedral City, Calif., 41-year-old Sgt. Luis Galbreath of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and 23-year-old Sgt. Richard Essex of Kelseyville, Calif.

The soldiers identified were part of Schofield’s 25th Infantry Division.

The crash happened during a firefight with insurgents in a remote area of southern Afghanistan. It’s one of the deadliest air disasters of a war now into its second decade.

Three of the Americans were U.S. Navy sailors – two were Navy SEALS and one was an explosive ordnance disposal sailor.

US Navy SEAL David Warsen

US Navy SEAL Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks

US Navy Petty Officer First Class EOD Sean P Carson

Richard Essex

Brian Hornsby

Suresh Krause

Luis Galbreath

Reuters August 16, 2012

Eleven people were killed on Thursday in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, including seven U.S. soldiers and three Afghan allies, the NATO-led force in the country said.

CBS News August 16,  2012

NATO says 11 people, including at least three American troops, have been killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan.

The nationalities of the other casualties was not immediately confirmed, but a statement to the media from the international military coalition said the dead were, “four International Security Assistance Force service members, three United States Forces-Afghanistan service members, three members of the Afghan National Security Forces, and one Afghan civilian interpreter.”

Afghan officials told the Reuters news agency the crash took place in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province.

The wording suggests four of the dead were members of the International Security Assistance Force-Afghanistan (ISAF) from other allied nations, and three were Afghan service personnel, plus the civilian.

August 16, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

USN Explosive Ordnance Disposal Kraig Vickers Memorial Run

Maui Weekly  August 2, 2012

A memorial run fundraiser and celebration of life will be held on Sunday, Aug. 5, in honor of Explosive Ordinance Disposal Senior Chief Kraig M.K. Vickers, one of 22 U.S. service members killed in action in Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011.

Vickers, a 1992 Maui High School graduate and a football and wrestling standout, was a senior chief explosive ordnance disposal technician assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit. His helicopter was shot down while supporting America’s Global War on Terrorism: “Operation Enduring Freedom” in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan.

“The decision to hold a memorial run was made as a way to remember Kraig and to pay tribute to him and other military personnel as well, and to thank them for their service and sacrifice,” said the Vickers ‘ohana.

Register online at www.virr.com.

If your organization is interested in assisting with this event, email kraigvickersfoundation@gmail.com.

More information about the Kraig Vickers Honor Run can be found at www.active.com and www.mauirunner.com.

Donations may also be made to The Kraig Vickers Foundation through Paypal at www.kraigvickers.com or at any Navy Federal Credit Union.

August 2, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bomb Blast robs Navy EOD Taylor Morris of parts of four limbs

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Taylor Morris, right, sits with a fellow service member in Afghanistan during a lull in a firefight.

But the 23-year-old’s inner strength and determination remain undented

Des Moines Register

The bomb blast in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, earlier this month took so much from Taylor Morris, a former soccer player and top-notch wrestler at Cedar Falls High School.

Morris, 23, lost his right leg at the knee, his left leg at mid-thigh, his right arm at the wrist and his left arm at the elbow.

But somehow, the explosion did little damage to his major organs. And it didn’t dent his determination to recover and move on with his life. His parents are grateful for both those blessings.

“We are blessed in that his organs and core received only scratches … and we are thankful for that,” said Juli Morris, Taylor’s mother.

Taylor Morris, a U.S. Navy explosive ordnance disposal technician, was wounded May 3 by an improvised explosive device while on foot patrol with U.S. forces in Kandahar province.

He had only arrived in Afghanistan in February, his first deployment.

He joined the Navy right out of high school in 2007 and has always been interested in Navy special operations, his mother said.

Based at Virginia Beach, he underwent 10 months of training in disarming and disposing explosive ordnance, in addition to underwater dive training and parachute jump school so he could accompany Special Forces on missions. Based at Virginia Beach, he was attached to a unit of Army Green Berets at the time he was wounded.

Please read the entire article here

June 5, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Taylor Morris, Determined to Recover After Afghan Blast

Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier  June 2, 2012

Taylor Morris remembers and feels everything. He remembers the explosion that blew him off the ground and took portions of all his limbs.

He still feels his hands — every knuckle, every fingernail — as though they’re knotted up inside him and being crushed, and the stinging where his legs were, as though they’ve fallen asleep.

But he feels other things, too, the recuperating Cedar Falls sailor told the Courier Wednesday in an exclusive interview from his hospital room at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

He feels the love and support of a family and his girlfriend, Danielle Kelly, who have never left his side. Of his comrades in arms, including fellow amputees, at Walter Reed who give him hope for recovery. Of his brothers and sisters who are working to raise funds for whatever expenses may be ahead for his eventual homecoming. Of folks in Northeast Iowa he barely knew or never knew — from a classmate organizing a fundraiser at Tony’s La Pizzeria, to the lady in New Hampton who simply wanted to know where to send a check.

He wants people back home to know he appreciates the support, and that he’s determined to fight back to recover on his own terms.

“Tell folks back home I chose this path, and I knew it was dangerous going into it,” Morris said from his hospital room at Walter Reed via Skype and telephone. “And it’s unfortunate it happened. But I don’t want them to pity me or to feel bad. I’m doing fine, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get back to 100 percent.”

Morris, 23, a 2007 graduate of Cedar Falls High School and a U.S. Navy explosive ordnance disposal expert, suffered debilitating injuries from a bomb blast while on patrol with U.S. Army Special Forces troops in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. He lost portions of both legs, his left arm at the elbow and his right hand.

“So far, everything’s been ahead of schedule” in his recovery, Morris said. “It’s pretty miraculous.”

Please see the original and read more here

June 3, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Staff Sgt. Israel P. Nuanes of the 84th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion killed in Afghanistan

Las Cruces Sun News   May 16. 2012

LAS CRUCES – The U.S. Department of Defense has confirmed the passing of U.S. Staff Sgt. Israel P. Nuanes of Las Cruces who was serving in Afghanistan.

Nuanes, 38, of Las Cruces died May 12, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained during an enemy attack with an improvised explosive device, according to the DOD.

Nuanes served in the 741st Ordnance Company, 84th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 71st Ordnance Group, of Fort Bliss, Texas.

“I extend my deepest sympathies and prayers for the family and friends of Staff Sergeant Nuanes,” said Congressman Steve Pearce in a news release. “My heart goes out to his family and to the families of our fallen heroes across the nation. We will never forget the sacrifice he made to defend our nation and preserve our freedoms. His admirable service to our nation and his dedication to preserving liberty will long be remembered in New Mexico and across the U.S.”

The Sun-News is pursuing more information, and will post updates as they become available.

May 16, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , | Leave a comment

Sapper Conner Ray, British Explosive Ordnance Disposal, fatally injured by improvised bomb in Afghanistan

Wales Online  May 11, 2012

The family of a soldier fatally injured by an improvised bomb in Afghanistan have paid tribute to him ahead of his funeral.

Sapper Connor Ray, 20, of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) will be given full military honours at his funeral at St Woolas Cathedral in Newport, south Wales, today.

He was fatally injured during a search and clearance operation in the Nad-e Ali district of central Helmand near Checkpoint Kahmanan on April 11.

Sapper Ray was part of a mission to clear a compound previously used by insurgents, allowing local people to safely return to the area, when he was seriously injured in an IED blast.

He was taken to Camp Bastion Role 3 Hospital and later transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, where he died on April 18.

“Connor was such a kind-hearted, good-natured and amusing guy with a curious taste for ’80s power ballads,” his family said in a moving tribute.

“He described himself as a warrior even though he was scared of spiders.

“Always in good spirits and often mischievous, he had a cheeky grin and infectious giggle.

May 11, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghanistan death soldiers Andrew Roberts and Ratu Silibaravi repatriated

BBC News  May 10, 2012

The soldiers were members of a bomb disposal search team

Cpl Andrew Roberts and Pte Ratu Silibaravi died in a mortar rocket attack in Helmand province.

The soldiers, both 32, were from the Royal Logistic Corps, attached to 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh Battlegroup.

The cortege from RAF Brize Norton will pass the Memorial Garden near Carterton before travelling to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Both soldiers were deployed to Afghanistan on 11 March as part of an advanced search team in the operations squadron of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search Task Forces.

They were members of 23 Pioneer Regiment, based in Bicester, Oxfordshire.

Their team was involved in search operations to clear irrigation ditches and enhance the security of operating bases, as well as providing support to patrolling troops.

May 10, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , , | Leave a comment