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140th EOD conducts routine training operation

Staff Sgt. Darrel Linkus, 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator, and Staff Sgt. Robert Rich, 140th EOD operator, ready an inactive bomb to be cut by a shape charge Sept. 23, 2015, at Airburst Range, Colo. The shape charge can be used for multiple applications which involve the cutting of metal or tough material. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Staff Sgt. Darrel Linkus, 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator, and Staff Sgt. Robert Rich, 140th EOD operator, ready an inactive bomb to be cut by a shape charge Sept. 23, 2015, at Airburst Range, Colo. The shape charge can be used for multiple applications which involve the cutting of metal or tough material. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Staff Sgt. Darrel Linkus, 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator, coils a shape charge around an inactive bomb Sept. 23, 2015, at Airburst Range, Colo. The shape charge can be used for multiple applications which involve the cutting of metal or tough material. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Staff Sgt. Darrel Linkus, 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator, coils a shape charge around an inactive bomb Sept. 23, 2015, at Airburst Range, Colo. The shape charge can be used for multiple applications which involve the cutting of metal or tough material. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Staff Sgt. Darrel Linkus, 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator, readies a 40-pound shape charge for detonation Sept. 23, 2015, at Airburst Range, Colo. The 140th EOD trains with a variety of explosives each month to stay proficient in their craft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Staff Sgt. Darrel Linkus, 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator, readies a 40-pound shape charge for detonation Sept. 23, 2015, at Airburst Range, Colo. The 140th EOD trains with a variety of explosives each month to stay proficient in their craft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Staff Sgt. Robert Rich, 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator, primes a 40-pound shape charge Sept. 23, 2015, at Airburst Range, Colo. The 140th EOD trains with a variety of explosives each month to stay proficient in their craft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Staff Sgt. Robert Rich, 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator, primes a 40-pound shape charge Sept. 23, 2015, at Airburst Range, Colo. The 140th EOD trains with a variety of explosives each month to stay proficient in their craft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Staff Sgt. Robert Rich, 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator, readies primers used to detonate explosive ordnance Sept. 23, 2015, at Airburst Range, Colo.  The 140th EOD trains with a variety of explosives each month to stay proficient in their craft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Staff Sgt. Robert Rich, 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator, readies primers used to detonate explosive ordnance Sept. 23, 2015, at Airburst Range, Colo. The 140th EOD trains with a variety of explosives each month to stay proficient in their craft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Staff Sgt. Darrel Linkus, 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator, and Staff Sgt. Robert Rich, 140th EOD operator, prepare a clean-up shot Sept. 23, 2015, at Airburst Range, Colo. A clean-up shot is composed of explosives and is used to detonate any remnants of a prior explosion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Staff Sgt. Darrel Linkus, 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator, and Staff Sgt. Robert Rich, 140th EOD operator, prepare a clean-up shot Sept. 23, 2015, at Airburst Range, Colo. A clean-up shot is composed of explosives and is used to detonate any remnants of a prior explosion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Staff Sgt. Darrel Linkus, 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator, examines the site of a detonation Sept. 23, 2015, at Airburst Range, Colo. Linkus examines the blast site to see if the explosive detonated and produced the results expected. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Staff Sgt. Darrel Linkus, 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator, examines the site of a detonation Sept. 23, 2015, at Airburst Range, Colo. Linkus examines the blast site to see if the explosive detonated and produced the results expected. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Empty shipping crates lie strewn across the high desert. Miles away from any populace, these crates, riddled with holes, are used to construct mock towns and used as targets for explosive charges. This area is known as Airburst Range and is where the 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal flight conducts their training operations.  

The 140th EOD flight conducted training to maintain proficiency and keep up-to-date with standards and procedures Sept. 23, at Airburst Range, Colo.

During the training, the 140th EOD flight detonated shape charges along with plastic explosives and dynamite. 

"The training that we conducted last week was to ensure proficiency with explosive materials and the demolition items that we are required to use," Staff Sgt. Darrel Linkus, 140th EOD flight operator said. "Our career field requires us to use many different types of explosives and tools in order to make sure that we know how to use them and know their capabilities and limitations. The 140th EOD flight conducts quarterly weeklong training to ensure that all members are proficient in all aspects of EOD."

EOD operators have a variety of capabilities when it comes to dealing with explosives.

"The job entails many different aspects dealing with anything where explosives are involved," Linkus said. "The EOD training requires us to be proficient and have knowledge of many different devices and areas including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear in addition to explosives. A large part of the mission that we have requires us to have in-depth knowledge of all military ordnance, U.S. or foreign, such as bombs, guided missiles, rockets, landmines, grenades, projectiles, and any other ordnance item in use. The EOD mission also requires us to have training that allows us to work with other units. This includes tactical training such as shoot, move and communicate small squad tactics and explosive breaching."

To many, this may seem like a very high stress and dangerous job. However, to EOD operators, dealing with explosives is just a part of their line of work.

"The more you become comfortable with it, as long as you continue to respect it, it becomes a norm for you," said Staff Sgt. Robert Rich, 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal flight operator. "With time it becomes second nature."
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