PHOENIX, Az. – Arizona National Guard activated the only Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EOD) in the Army National Guard at Papago Park Military Reservation, Feb. 15th.
The 48th Ordnance Group is comprised of Soldiers who travel across the country to continue service within the EOD field.
“This is a monumental day for the Arizona National Guard” said Brigadier General Lonnie J. Branum, Arizona Army National Guard Land Component Commander, “We are taking on a significant responsibility and are already much further along than I expected. That is a testament to the leaders here that made this happen.”
For Arizona, this activation was years in the making. Upon hearing of the opportunity to acquire EOD assets, Brig. Gen. Branum initially proposed taking on an additional single company which eventually led into what it is today, an entire group composed of one battalion, and two additional companies. In total, this group encompasses three battalions and 14 companies across 12 states.
“EOD is a capability in the Army that is very unique,” said Col. Gregory J. Hirschey, EOD Commandant, Ft. Lee, Virginia, “We have a foundation of technical skills combined with tactical prowess that takes a long time to learn and supports a wide variety of agencies both internally and externally in the civilian sector.”
EOD Soldiers serve as the Army’s tactical and technical explosive experts. They have the capability to render safe, eliminate, or reduce chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive hazards to include improvised explosive devices and unexploded ordnance that present a threat to operations, personnel, and materiel.
When asked how he felt on Arizona activating this group, Col. Hirschey said, “Arizona stood up and said this is a capability that we want to take on the responsibility of, to me that’s incredible.”
While today held the official ceremony, Arizona EOD was already focused on community safety earlier this month, partnering with local, state, and federal agencies during Super Bowl LVII. In attendance was one of these partners, the Phoenix Police Department Bomb Squad.
“Thank you to Phoenix Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigations for the support you provided us and what you do for our communities,” said Brig. Gen. Branum, “We look forward to working together with our partners again.”
An exciting day for the Arizona National Guard, the 48th EOD will continue to be always ready, always there for our state and nation.
|PHOENIX, AZ, US
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