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NEWS | Jan. 27, 2021

EOD Community Recognizes Civilian With Navy’s Highest Honors

By NSWC Indian Head Division Public Affairs

Dr. Sidney Alford, a civilian Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) professional from Great Britain, was recognized with one of the Navy’s highest civilian honors: the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award. Alford received this recognition at the Winter EOD Technology and Training Program Board Meeting, at Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD), Jan. 26.

NSWC IHD Commanding Officer and Deputy Executive Manager for EOD Technology Capt. Eric Correll, DoD Executive Manager for EOD Technology and Training and Program Board co-chair Rear Adm. Kevin Byrne, and Program Board co-chair Brig. Gen. Heidi Hoyle, U.S. Army, recognized Alford for his continued dedication and support to allied EOD warfighters and their mission. The Distinguished Public Service Award was established in 1951 and is presented by the Secretary of the Navy to civilians for either specific acts of courage or heroism or whose actions or service have provided long-term, substantial benefits to the DON and Department of Defense (DoD). This award is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a civilian not employed by the DON.

“Dr. Alford’s reputation and contributions to the EOD community are well-established and unrivaled,” said Byrne. “His research and technologies provided to the EOD warfighter during his incredible career have made an immense impact on the battlefield and ensured the safety of service members for more than 25 years.”

Alford is a significant contributor to the joint service EOD community throughout the DoD and has put his inventions and life on the line to support EOD personnel. His water-projecting disruptors driven by high explosives are the primarily method of disruption for improvised explosive devices (IED) on today’s battlefield.

Alford’s explosive driven tools and technologies were part of the Counter Bomb/Counter Bomber (CB2) and Knowledge Technology Operational Demonstration (KTOD) Advanced Concepts Technical Demonstrations (ACTD) approved by the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Advanced Systems and Concepts. The CB2 and KTOD ACTDs led to Alford’s technologies’ rapid fielding to counteract high-risk threats.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, Alford has trained thousands of U.S. military EOD personnel on the use of his explosive driven tools, tactics, techniques and procedures for rendering safe IEDs, and provided comprehensive chemistry classes on homemade explosives threats prevalent in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, and Syria. His support has saved countless lives on the battlefields in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries supported by US military EOD personnel.

In addition to his work with IEDs, Alford is a pioneer in supporting global humanitarian demining efforts with inexpensive render safe solutions. These tools are used throughout the DoD and State Department’s humanitarian demining efforts.

“Today we are privileged with recognizing Dr. Alford and his family with the [Navy] Distinguished Public Service Award. His exceptional leadership, innovation and contributions to the DoD are unsurpassed and make him most deserving of this award,” said Correll. “He is a legend in the EOD community and is world renowned for being a leading innovator in the development of explosive tools and equipment. It is truly an honor to present him with this well-deserved recognition for his 25 years of service.”

The Navy Distinguished Public Service Award is the highest form of public service recognition approved by the Secretary of the Navy. Nominations are limited to those extraordinary cases where individuals have demonstrated exceptional service of substantial and long-term benefit to the Navy and the Marine Corps.

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.