18 December 2012
EOD Remotely Controlled Vehicle (EOD Robot) destroys a mock improvised explose device (IED) on a training task at Petone Petroleum Warf.
The New Zealand Defence Force’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Squadron has responded to a record number of callouts this year in support of New Zealand Police and Emergency Services.
E Squadron, 1 NZSAS Regiment plays a key role assisting New Zealand agencies to keep New Zealanders safe. E Squadron responded to over 750 callouts in 2012, an increase of over 140 from 2011.
Callout tasks range from disposing of unserviceable commercial explosives, rendering safe unexploded ordnance, and rendering safe improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
In their busiest week this year, EOD personnel responded to nine separate incidents in various locations spanning the length and breadth of both North and South Islands.
One of the more unusual taskings for E Squadron was a callout to assist Emergency Services at a farm near Invercargill where a contractor suffered burns and inhalation injuries after his digger ruptured buried drums containing a hazardous chemical substance. The EOD Chemical Biological and Radioactive (CBR) Team was required for its niche capability to safely operate in a grossly contaminated toxic area, reducing the risk to other agencies and the public.
"2012 has been a very busy year for Defence Force EOD operators. We are routinely called out to assist with a range of EOD or IED related tasks across New Zealand," says Officer Commanding E Squadron, Major Adam Modd GM.
"EOD Squadron has the specialist skills and equipment to render safe a variety of explosive and chemical threats. Our personnel work on a daily basis, in conjunction with New Zealand Police and Emergency Services, to keep New Zealand a safer place.
"This is an Army unit but our personnel are drawn from all three Services, Navy, Army and Air Force, and are trained to a very high standard. EOD operators are extensively trained to recognise a wide range of munitions, understand how they function, and know how to effectively and safely dispose of them. Our personnel are also trained to render safe IEDs and deal with complex Chemical, Biological, and Radioactive incidents.
"Our operators have to cope with a multitude of pressures that exist in this type of role. They deal with the unknown every day, the New Zealand Police empower them to make life saving decisions, and they are trained and prepared for that. The principles the teams work to are there in order to protect the public safety, to restore situations to normality as soon as possible, and to preserve forensic evidence for investigation."
E Squadron provides assistance to New Zealand Police to ensure the safety and security of major national events in New Zealand, such as the recent Royal Visit and the Rugby World Cup last year.
EOD personnel also deploy around the world on operations and exercises in explosive ordnance disposal and improvised explosive device disposal roles.
For more information, contact Defence Communications Group on 021 487 980