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EOD takes 3rd at Robot Rodeo

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The week-long event, held at Dobbins Air Reserve Base and the Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, included teams competing in seven unique scenarios and showcased cutting-edge EOD robots.

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ATLANTA — Air Force, civilian and international explosive ordnance disposal experts recently shared tactics, techniques and procedures during the 2017 Eastern National Robot Rodeo and Capabilities Exercise in Atlanta.

 

The week-long event, held at Dobbins Air Reserve Base and the Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, included teams competing in seven unique scenarios and showcased cutting-edge EOD robots.

“This exercise allowed us to identify potential operational requirement gaps through challenging, real world scenarios, and provided exposure to available robotic technologies,” said Dr. John Olive, Air Force EOD subject matter expert and one of several AFCEC EOD team members involved in the organization, coordination and execution of the annual event.

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“When you’re on the outside looking in, you might think operating robotics should be a simple task, but when you actually get the hands-on, you then understand the skillset, specifics and detailed training that a lot of our team members need to have,” said Col. Tanya Anderson, director of readiness at AFCEC. “(During Robot Rodeo) We can get hands-on experience but we also have the opportunity to give the robot vendors instant feedback.”

Another key benefit of Robot Rodeo is learning from each other.

“From the competitive standpoint, it really just keeps people goal-oriented,” said Senior Airman Tyler McMillan Wammack, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD Flight, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina.

The 2017 Eastern National Robot Rodeo and Capabilities Exercise winners were:

1st PLACE — “Navy A,” EOD Mobile Unit 6, Little Creek, Virginia Beach, Virginia
2nd PLACE — 11th EOD Regiment, British Army, United Kingdom
3rd PLACE –- 96th Civil Engineer Squadron, Eglin AFB, Florida.

Article by Brian Goddin
PHOTO (top): EOD team members from 96th Test Wing, operate a computerized robot controller. The group was observed by AFCEC leaders Col. Tanya Anderson and Lt. Col. David Troxell during the recent Robot Rodeo event at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia. Vendor teams were onsite to provide clarity as needed on robot controls. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Susan H. Lawson)
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