EOD in Afghanistan – explosive ordnance disposal mission

EOD in Afghanistan – explosive ordnance disposal mission – Brief Article

Keith A. Kluwe

AN explosive ordnance disposal mission in Afghanistan ended April 15 when technicians destroyed two caches of ordnance in what has come to be called “Ammo Alley.”

The mission was delayed more than a year, after three EOD technicians and a special forces soldier were killed in an April 15, 2002, explosion at the same site, 35 kilometers northwest of Kandahar Air Field.

“One of my good friends–SGT Jamie Mulligans–was killed there last year,” said SSG Baylin Oswalt, a team leader with the 731st Ordnance Company from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. “This mission brought closure, being able to go out to where he was killed and destroy that cache.”

Others who finished the mission recalled their fallen comrades.

“Everyone felt their loss. We’re a very tight-knit community, so when someone dies in the line of duty, their name doesn’t just go on a memorial. We all remember them, because we knew them from school or through friends,” said team leader SSG Jeffrey Mclean of the 754th Ord. Co. at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

EOD teams from the 731st, 754th and 705th Ord. companies rigged the two piles of ordnance with C-4 explosives that destroyed the caches of Chinese-made fin-stabilized rockets similar to those used in attacks against U.S. bases in Afghanistan.

The mission into “Amino Alley” has kept weapons and ordnance out of the hands of people wishing to destabilize the national and provincial governments in Afghanistan, or cause harm to U.S. forces, officials said.

“But Amino Alley is still a big concern. There is still a lot of ammunition and ordnance out there that can be used by anyone who wants to do harm to coalition forces,” Mclean said.

There are still more than 20 known munitions cache sites in the valley.

CPL Keith A. Kluwe is assigned to the CTF-82 Public Affairs Office.

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