JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --
Operation Llama Fury 3.0 kicked off Aug. 7 and will continue through Aug. 11.
The five-day event aims to standardize Explosives Ordinance Disposal training and evaluations, and includes EOD teams from eight bases across the East Coast, including Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina.; Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina; Joint Base Andrews, Maryland; Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.; Dover Air Force Base, Delaware; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; and Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.
During the first phase of OLF 3.0, teams of EOD Airmen endured quality assurance evaluations, where they were evaluated on different simulated scenarios, as well as their job specific skills and equipment familiarity.
The Langley AFB EOD team hand crafted most of the props and workstations that helped simulate each evaluated scenario as if it were a real-world situation.
“The EOD mission is to neutralize whatever explosive threat presents itself and endangers lives,” said Tech. Sgt. Taylor Saum, 633rd Civil Engineer Squadron EOD member and OLF 3.0 exercise coordinator. “This event presents numerous EOD challenges in situations that may not be routine for the participants. Llama Fury provides an excellent measure of each EOD team’s current capability, and allows our community to share best practices.”
The quality assurance evaluations, or round robin activities, encompassed four different training areas. One of the activities focused on conventional ordnance, where the teams had to identify, safely render and dispose of the ordnance. The second response was similar, but included a peacetime improvised explosive device, where the teams had to assess the threat, render it safe, dispose of, and collect evidence of the ordnance.
“We deploy overseas and are called in to defuse improvised explosive devices, or here we may be sent to examine a suspicious parcel,” said Capt. Cory McCart, 633rd CES EOD flight commander, about the importance of training on various ordinance scenarios. “Wherever there’s a threat from an explosive device, an EOD Airman will be there to deactivate the device.”
The other two activities involved a simulated chemical unexploded ordnance and a nuclear weapon incident that each team had to identify, evaluate and properly dispose of.
The final day of physical tasks, the EOD members will perform the crucible, which will consist of eight stations where team members will switch roles and rely on each other to perform each task properly.
“The crucible, and all of the training events, are challenging, that’s why safety is built into everything we do. If a tactic or procedure isn’t safe, then it’s not a good tactic,” Saum said. “This event gives our community a chance to examine what we do as individuals and as teams.”
The goal is that by the end of OLF 3.0, each EOD team will have improved their readiness and techniques, which they can then share with throughout the Air Force.