RAF Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit train with Romanian equivalents
Personnel from the RAF Wittering-based 5131 Bomb Disposal Squadron have conducted a joint training exercise alongside counterparts from the Romanian Army.
The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) detachment from RAF Wittering is supporting the 135 Expeditionary Air Wing currently deployed at Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase off the Black Sea coast of Romania.
The officer commanding EOD, Flight Lieutenant Rob Cornford, was on-hand to explain more: “The role I have as Bomb Disposal Officer is ensuring that any incidents with munitions are dealt with if they need to be by explosive ordnance disposal. I provide 24/7 crash cover for making safe munitions, flares or ejection systems that may be damaged.”
Major Adrian Enache of the Romanian Army’s 1st EOD Group welcomed RAF personnel Corporal Greg Cheeseman and Flight Lieutenant Rob Cornford with a tour of their bespoke training facilities. He later invited them to a parade celebrating 20 years since the inception of the Romanian EOD unit.
And, on the training range, Major Enache’s team demonstrated novel techniques to counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and rendering safe Romanian Air Force rockets.
Emphasising the value of this, Flight Lieutenant Cornford said: “We’ve been doing some training on Romanian Air Force weapons, looking at how the Romanians operate and we’ve showed them our procedures for disposing of different types of munitions. They’ve also demonstrated some of their counter-Improvised Explosive Device (c-IED) capability with 3D printed C-IED weapons; it’s a pretty cost effective solution for disposing of IEDs.”
The Romanian military also lead the way in working as a ‘whole force’ with civilian staff formed up alongside the Army for the 20th anniversary parade. Major Enache said: “The civilians on this unit are participating and working side-by-side with the military. Everyone is doing their job in order to achieve the common goal.”
Romanian Air Force Sergeant Major Florin Monteanu and Romanian Navy Petty Officer Mares Dragos attended the anniversary celebrations, with the latter stating: “We all have different skills. When we work together we spread our skills and change each other. It’s a good opportunity for us.”
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