In 1951, the DoD assigned the U.S. Navy with the responsibility for Joint Service EOD Research and Development (R&D). Initially accomplished at the Naval EOD School, in 1953 a separate organization, the Naval EOD Technical Center, was established to accomplish the R&D tasks. A Joint Service Directive governed the program, and individual Services were allowed to continue their own EOD R&D programs. Following Congressional interest in 1969 regarding the individual Service efforts, DoD directed that all EOD R&D be consolidated under SECNAV as a Single Manager, to eliminate duplication of effort. A Joint Program was developed by the Services that ensured all of their interests were addressed. DoD Directive 5160.62 was first issued in 1971, designating SECNAV as the Single Manager for EOD Technology and Training, a designation that continues today. The NSWC Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD) is EOD's technology center, which the Navy is directed to provide, manage, and maintain.
The DoD EOD Technology Program is requirements driven and requires customer participation from the identification of requirements, to the selection of technology projects to satisfy requirements, to the acceptance of the ultimate R&D outputs. The process for customer participation is formal, structured, and documented.
Documentation of the process begins with DoD Directive 5160.62 that, in addition to designating SECNAV as Single Manager, directs the appointment by the Navy of an Executive Manager with broad authority to manage the program. It also establishes a Program Board, constituted of flag/general officers from the four Services, to assist the Executive Manager and represent their Services. In addition, the directive establishes a Joint Service Military Technical Acceptance Board (MTAB), which must approve all EOD tools, equipment, procedures, and publications developed by the Navy, prior to their use by the Joint Services. DoD Directive 5160.62 (1989), which has recently been revised by the Joint Services and is in the OSD approval process, is implemented by SECNAVINST 5410.116B and by a Joint Service instruction (OPNAVINST 8027.1G, MCO 8027.1D, AR 75-14, AFR 136-8). In addition to the DoD directive and Service implementing instructions, the Program Board issues detailed program guidance by Policy Agreements (PAs). The Program Board meets three to four times each year, or as otherwise required. Each Service maintains a Detachment at NSWC IHEODTD to D provide Service participation in all of the processes. The OICs of the Detachments constitute the MTAB, and Detachment personnel form two sub-groups of the MTAB, responsible for recommendations to the MTAB relative to approval of tools/equipment and procedures. These personnel interact daily with NSWC IHEODTD personnel in R&D and procedures development.