Some explosive ordnance disposal airmen deployed to Iraq last week got to deviate from their usual hazardous task of finding and safing explosives when they were asked to explosively dismantle a stranded C-130 near Baghdad airport. The Hercules had been stuck in a field since June 27 following an emergency landing. Concerned about security, the Air Force decided it would get EOD technicians to conduct “controlled detonations” to break it into smaller pieces for transport. “My team was kind of excited about going out there and explosively cutting up the aircraft,” said SMSgt. Pervis King, EOD superintendent at Sather AB, Iraq, and acknowledged he had never seen it done. Working with the EOD technicians were aircraft maintainers and, to establish a security perimeter, coalition and Iraqi forces. It took a total of four detonations to cut the aircraft down to moveable chunks. (AFPN report)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.