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NEWS | March 28, 2024

EXU-1 EOD1 Pete Harig recognized as NSWC/NUWC Sailor of the Year

By NSWC Indian Head Public Affairs Office

U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Expeditionary Exploitation Unit One (EXU-1) EOD1 Peter Harig was awarded the Naval Surface Warfare Center/Naval Undersea Warfare Center Sailor of the Year for Fiscal Year 2023.

Over the past year, Harig supported EXU-1's Prepare-to-Deploy Order (PTDO) mission and rapidly deployed to the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) Area of Operation, to lead a Remote Operated Vehicle team in a wide area search, acquiring intelligence that would have been lost without this capability. Additionally, Harig supported EUCOM as laboratory manager and maritime post blast expert during Northern Challenge 23, an annual exercise led by the Icelandic Coast Guard designed to provide the most modern EOD training worldwide. There, he conducted 56 hours of instruction on maritime post blast for 140 personnel from 15 NATO countries, establishing EXU-1 as the premier Exploitation Laboratory for NATO.

“EOD1 Harig is an outstanding Sailor, EOD exploitation specialist and leader,” EXU-1 Commanding Officer CDR Eric Hui said. “In addition to performing exceptionally well in numerous demanding, high visibility expeditionary exploitation missions while deployed, he consistently demonstrates superb professionalism, selflessness, and the intangible leadership qualities that make the entire EXU-1 team better every day. This recognition could not have come to a more deserving and humbler person.”

Harig’s accomplishments did not stop there. While serving as Technical Exploitation Platoon Four (TXP-4) Leading Petty Officer, Harig was responsible for 10 personnel and the management and mobility of millions of dollars of operational equipment and forensic laboratories in support of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM). Through his leadership, TXP-4 conducted multiple operations that aided the intelligence community with priorities defined in the 2022 National Defense Strategy.

Harig’s actions generated two exploitation reports and enabled the Level III exploitation of two near-peer, first seen ordnance items of high value, which strengthened both U.S. and partner nation understanding of near-peer adversary capability in INDOPACOM. Harig provided exploitation advisement to 48 Japanese military and paramilitary personnel. His efforts led to increased interoperability with Japanese and NATO partners, building critical relationships within the exploitation mission space.

“As all of us in the EOD community know, the pathway to this level of recognition is all about luck, timing, and competency in your specific field,” Harig said. “I honestly believe that any EOD Technician placed in my position, would have performed to the same level of excellence. We are all quiet professionals who do not strive for or expect recognition. However, there is self-satisfaction that, to some extent, we are creating a safer environment for our fellow mission partners and a safer country for the generations that follow in our footsteps.”  

The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) established the Sailor of the Year Program to recognize one Sailor who represents the best of the Navy by demonstrating both professional and personal dedication. In 1982, the program introduced the Navy Enlisted Reservist of the Year. In 2020, the CNO expanded the program to recognize 18 Sailors who will be meritoriously advanced to the rank of chief petty officer.

“A majority of the individuals at EXU-1, both past and present, have put in an equal amount of time and effort to achieve lesser recognition than that of which I am receiving,” Harig said. “For EXU-1 as a command, this recognition is long overdue. The level of performance at the command, bar none, is the most competent I have seen in my naval career.”

EXU-1 is an operationally deployable Type II, Echelon V command aligned under NSWC IHD. The unit hosts a variety of platoons designed to collect, process, exploit and analyze conventional and improvised threats in support of Fleet and Joint commanders, the Intelligence Community, interagency, allied and partner nations to prevent technical surprise, develop countermeasures and enable attribution. EXU-1 was commissioned in June 2018 as an Echelon V afloat command and reports to NSWC IHD Commanding Officer CAPT Steve Duba, 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.