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NEWS | June 20, 2023

EXU-1 Conducts Maritime Post-Blast Investigation Course

By NSWC Indian Head Public Affairs Office

U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Expeditionary Exploitation Unit One (EXU-1) alongside the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) section conducted a maritime post-blast investigation course at Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West, Florida, June 2-9. The course focused on training EOD exploitation specialists in the tactics, techniques, and procedures regarding underwater search techniques and the subsequent gathering of Collectable Exploitable Material in a maritime environment.

NAS Key West offered the ideal operational atmosphere for the course, which encompassed a full week of classroom briefs, diving and case study analysis for the explosive exploitation specialists. The operators ultimately complete the course in the thorough and conclusive exploitation of materials of an explosion or detonation that occurred below, at, or above the waterline.

“The main goal is for EXU-1 operators to apply combat post-blast knowledge to a maritime environment,” said EXU-1 Training and Readiness Officer Lt. Roy Wiggins. “This course of instruction prepares explosive exploitation specialists to execute core requirements aligned with the National Defense Strategy by enabling the operators to meet the unique challenges associated with conducting underwater post-blast operations or exploitation of foreign ordnance, IEDs and underwater systems.”

The course was comprised of personnel from the U.S. Navy EOD community, the FBI CIRG, the U.K. Royal Navy Diving and Threat Exploitation Group (DTXG), as well as NATO partner forces. U.K. Royal Navy Mine Clearance Diver and EXU-1 Personnel Exchange Program Officer from DTXG Lt. Cmdr. Chris Barber said the sustained attendance at the course provides clearance divers with access to the gold standard in exploitation training in a maritime environment.

“Supported by our EXU-1 brethren, the U.K. Royal Navy continues to cement a niche capability that provides unique strategic military effects for the U.K. and partner nations,” Barber said. “Whilst we are training the team here to look at the detailed tactical picture through forensic collection and analysis; they are learning that exploitation in an era of day-to-day competition provides the international community with an understanding of rapidly evolving threats and a subsequent means to counter them, and protect the force.”  

By integrating and executing these complex training scenarios alongside mission partners, EXU-1 is able to strengthen relationships across the allied EOD community and optimize capacity to meet mission requirements and theater strategies.

“When properly executed, this process leads to improved intelligence directly supporting attribution, targeting, and prosecution efforts. This course ensures our operators have the ability to enable the attribution of malign activities to state and non-state actors to inform decision-making,” Wiggins said. “Additionally, this course enables EXU-1 to prevent technological surprise and characterize foreign military capabilities.”

EXU-1 is an operationally deployable Type II, Echelon V command aligned under Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD). The unit hosts a variety of platoons designed to collect, process, exploit and analyze improvised threats, advanced weapons systems, munitions, ordnance, unmanned systems, and strategic infrastructure on land and sea to provide real-time targeting information and intelligence to EOD forces. EXU-1 was commissioned in June 2018 as an Echelon V afloat command and reports to NSWC IHD Commanding Officer Capt. Eric Correll, who serves as the immediate superior in command to EXU-1.


NSWC IHD — a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command and part of the Navy’s Science and Engineering Establishment — is the leader in ordnance, energetics, and EOD solutions. The Division focuses on energetics research, development, testing, evaluation, in-service support, manufacturing and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.