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By Dennis Stepura, Asian Region IPO technical project officer
Representatives from Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division’s (NSWC IHD) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Department’s International Programs Office (IPO) and Publication Review Committee (PRC) from the Navy and Air Force detachments attended the EOD/Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Interoperability Working Group 3 in Seoul, South Korea, July 24 - 28.
The purpose of this meeting was to brief the Republic of Korea (ROK) EOD on Information Exchange Agreements (IEA) and assess their capabilities and interest in beginning an EOD IEA with the United States. A discussion regarding ROK EOD capabilities, deployment and interoperability also provided new insights for the attending team.
The meeting was attended by members of ROK and U.S. EOD forces including members from the ROK’s EOD community, Air Force, Army and Navy. U.S. participants included 8th Army, 7th Air Force, III Marine Expeditionary Force (IIIMEF), United States Army Pacific, United States Forces Korea, DTRA and the NSWC IHD EOD Technology Center. NSWC IHD IPO briefed an introduction to international agreements and the team established points of contact within the ROK forces, as well as U.S. 8th Army, 7th Air Force and IIIMEF. Future field exercises and evaluations of ROK EOD capabilities are in the works along with future gatherings to solidify an exchange agreement.