Sheppard slated to add EOD team leader course


Airman Ryan Vaughn (left) reviews his checklist during a SUU-25 download exercise as EOD instructor Staff Sgt. Charles Howell looks on Jul. 20, 2012 at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The download exercise is part of the training in the Air Division of NAVSCOLEOD. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dan Hawkins)


A new course for the explosive ordnance disposal technicians is slated to be taught at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.


The course will be for EOD technicians to become team leaders, offering realistic training scenarios that focus more on actual operations rather than classroom learning as a form of instruction.


“This is the first time our career field’s 7-level school has used an ‘operationally’ focused curriculum as opposed to the traditional classroom curriculum to prepare upcoming team leaders,” said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Hulsman, 366th Training Squadron EOD instructor.


Becoming an EOD team leader isn’t as easy as just completing this course.


“Being an EOD team leader is the pinnacle of being an EOD technician. All of the time spent in upgrade training is to prepare an Airman for leading a team during an incident,” Hulsman said. “To achieve the coveted status of EOD team leader, an individual must be a staff sergeant at a minimum, complete all core and duty-related tasks, complete the civil engineer 7-Level common core concept web-based course, complete the EOD Team Leader Course, and complete 12 months of on-the-job training at a minimum.”


The EOD team leader course will add four more academic days to the previous 10-day course and add 34 more training hours.


The EOD preliminary course at Sheppard is known for its vigorous physical training program, and the new team leader course doesn’t plan to break from the career field-specific guidance.


“The intent of the EOD preliminary course’s physical training program is to meet the high standard of the career field’s physical training program,” Hulsman said. “Considering the students attending the Team Leader Course are already badge wearers, their PT will be self-paced but must meet the intent of Air Force Instruction 32-3001, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Program, Attachment 4, EOD physical fitness program. Students will turn in their physical training program to the cadre by the second day of training to ensure it meets the intent of Attachment 4.”


The material that will be taught during the EOD team leader course is tailored to create a uniqueness that challenges a team leader’s ability to resolve a situation.


“An Air Force EOD team leader must be proficient in 10 mission sets,” Hulsman said. “The Team Leader Course will focus on four of the 10 mission sets: stateside improvised explosive device response, unexploded ordnance recovery response, ground emergency aircraft response, and a weapons of mass destruction response.”


The new course acquired 26 acres of land near the north end of the runway to be used for live demolition training. This range expansion will allow the course to conduct real world training scenarios while minimizing the need for simulations.


As far as a start date goes, Hulsman says they are still waiting to hear back from Air Force Personnel Center regarding the hiring of additional instructors, but he is hopeful the course will start this fiscal year.