The 332nd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel at Balad AB, Iraq, are performing an on-base mission and an off-base mission, reports Air Force journalist Maj. Richard Sater. On base, they respond to unexploded ordnance on the flightline, perform damage assessments and everything else usually associated with a “traditional” EOD. The off base mission has airmen standing in for soldiers for such tasks as responding to a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device on a main supply route or clearing roads for safe traffic. Oddly, the 332nd’s EOD flight works directly for a Navy unit, which in turn reports to an Army task force.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.