Air Force Explosive Disposal Presence Ending in Afghanistan

? The last Air Force explosive ordnance disposal unit operating in Afghanistan is winding up its deployment, according to an Aug. 25 release from Kandahar Airfield. The 466th EOD Operating Location Bravo Flight completed its final mission on Aug. 19; its members are now packing up their equipment for return to home stations, states the release. Since its initial rotation to Afghanistan in 2004, the flight’s airmen—more than 600 explosive ordnance disposal technicians over 20 rotations—have completed more than 10,000 missions. The unit lost eight airmen during this time. “Our impact to Operation Enduring Freedom has been huge,” said Capt. Justin Shultz, the flight’s executive officer. “Because of our abilities and technical expertise, I feel like we have become one of the front line EOD units in Afghanistan,” he said. In addition to Kandahar, the flight had EOD technicians operating from six different forward bases in the surrounding area, according to the release. “Our unit responded to any explosive hazard on and off base, such as unexploded ordnances, improvised explosive devices, and post-blasts,” said Shultz.