first published on November 10, 2015 by Josh
A first person perspective taken from the helmet mounted camera system of a Norwegian EOD Technician as he disarms an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
EOD Technicians are absolutely insane, but they are also meticulous and perfect in every step of their operations. This is the kind of trait that makes them skilled in their precise field of work, and also what makes them capable of dancing with these improvised explosive devices on a daily basis. Without the EOD the technicians, the Global War on Terror would have had a lot more casualties.
In case you were wondering what it’s like to be an EOD technician, the video at this bottom of the article is a pretty good representation. I can say with confidence, that at no point in my life have I wanted to play with bombs, especially ones that weren’t set up via a standard operating procedure my own unit came up with. My hat goes off to these professionals who take it upon themselves to defuse improvised explosives. It isn’t The Hurt Locker, these are real life bomb disposals. Imagine for a second that your job every single day is to go out, and defuse devices rigged together out of plastic bottles, and artillery shells. The Hollywood depiction of these real life events, is absolutely wrong in every aspect.
Every single EOD technician I have had the pleasure of meeting, has been a truly intense individual. Everything has a method, everything has a place. I once had the pleasure of operating with an EOD technician who had 16 years of experience in the field. On several occasions he responded to IED’s that my squad discovered. Each time he arrived to our location, it looked exactly the same. His MRAP would come to a rolling stop a good distance from our convoy. He would exit the vehicle from the passenger side, and climb on top of the hood of his vehicle to calibrate his mine detector. The next thing he would do is sweep his way up to our location.
After identifying our mark on the IED, and being fully satisfied with the location of the device, he would sweep his way to the enemy side of the IED. That’s when the magic happened. Without fail, every single time, he would expose the IED almost completely using his bare hands. Then, he would make the decision to defuse or detonate. For some strange reason he preferred to defuse in order to take the IED back for investigation. After he finished with the IED he would sweep back to his vehicle, hop in, throw us a quick wave, and drive off to the next IED. It was business as usual for that crazy son of a gun, and we really appreciated having his team out for us.
EOD Techs are crazy, but we love them anyways. Their contributions to the Global War on Terror in both Iraq and Afghanistan were fully needed. Their work ethic was unheard of, and their ability to stay calm under pressure often made you question if they ever felt any emotions even resembling fear at all. In the video below, you’ll get a first hand perspective on what it’s like to see Afghanistan through the eyes of an Explosive Ordinance Disposal technician from the country of Norway. While never having the direct opportunity to work with these guys, you can tell from the way he approaches the device that he very much has the same approach as the EOD technician that I spoke of earlier in the article.