MOHAMMED AL-AHMAD NAVAL BASE, Kuwait –
Kuwait Naval Force (KNF) and U.S. Navy explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technicians completed a week of advanced training during an explosive ordnance disposal and mine countermeasure operations exercise Eager Response Jan. 11.
The bilateral exchange began Jan. 7 and featured sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 1 assigned to Commander, Task Group (CTG) 56.1. Both countries participated in diving operations, mine response, underwater (UW) search tactics and UW demolition operations.
“This year we primarily focused on EOD diving centric skills and using remote tools to broaden our capabilities. Eager Response was a great opportunity for us to work with our Kuwaiti partners on everything from mission planning down to exchange of EOD core skills,” said Lt. j.g. Jacob Shearman, platoon commander.
The exercise provided an opportunity for the two nations to share knowledge and experiences to enhance mutual maritime capabilities and interoperability. The week started with classroom exercises to familiarize the teams with the equipment they would be using for the underwater evolutions.
“Working bilaterally with our partners abroad really solidifies the mine warfare effort. The technology is forever growing and evolving, so exercises such as Eager Response really helps us to share the latest and greatest,” said Chief Petty Officer Niles Kelly.
Following completion, leadership from both forces commended their platoons for their progress, while also exchanging gifts and appreciation for their strengthened partnership as maritime forces.
Eager Response 18 is a routine theater security cooperation engagement and serves as an opportunity to strengthen tactical proficiency in critical mission areas and support long-term regional stability.
EODMU 1 provides operational explosive ordnance disposal capability for location and identification, rendering safe, recovery, field evaluation, and disposal of all explosive ordnance including chemical and nuclear weapons across the globe.
CTG 56.1 conducts mine countermeasures, explosive ordnance disposal, salvage-diving and force protection operations throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, encompassing about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse comprises 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.