NAVAL BASE GUAM – Technical Support Detachment (TSD) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel – along with FBI special agent bomb technicians – conducted underwater post-blast investigation training at Naval Base Guam, July 27-31.
week-long training is based on an FBI course and includes surface and
underwater events such as assessing the underwater detonation/blast field,
locating, mapping and collecting evidence and surveying the water’s edge, beach
and dry land for debris.
first day and a half was spent in the classroom where we examined case studies
and discussed proper underwater search and recovery techniques,” said TSD
Command Master Chief Robert Zimmerman. “Next, the divers practiced making
accurate measurements, collecting forensic evidence and documenting blast
effects following an explosive incident.”
ship’s hull with blast damage was constructed for the training to teach EOD
technicians and first responders how to investigate an underwater post-blast
swimmers used buoys to map the blast field so they didn’t need to swim the
entire area, just the vicinity of the blast,” said Zimmerman. “Divers went down
to search the mapped area systematically. They marked where the evidence was –
because that can tell us a lot when we go about putting everything back
together – what the evidence was, and where it was retrieved from.”
completion of the dive, technicians examined the evidence for fingerprints and
DNA and attempted to reconstruct the explosive device to retrieve technical intelligence,
such as its explosive weight, how it fired and how it functioned. The teams
also assessed the ship’s hull for damage criteria and weapons effects analysis.
Officer Diver Shaun Heaslip, one of three participating divers from the Royal
New Zealand Navy’s Operational Dive Team, said the training was valuable to
their team, too, because of their responsibility for maritime EOD and
improvised explosive device incidents.
“This course gives us a better understanding in the gathering of
forensics, analyzing and investigating scenes to work out charge sizes and
potential debris areas. We’re always looking for future opportunities to
conduct training and exercises with the U.S. to further our interoperability in
the future,” he said.
said the course was developed specifically as pre-deployment training for our
TSD divers, but benefits the Navy and Department of Defense as well. “In the
end, if the Joint EOD Force at large is better at collecting and preserving
evidence, it’s easier to identify the enemy and attack the network,” he said.
Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division’s (NSWC IHEODTD) TSD is located in Indian Head, Md., and is a deployable military unit comprised of senior- and master-level EOD technicians who provide weapons analysis, technical intelligence and foreign material acquisition support to operational commanders, EOD forces and national intelligence activities.