Members of US Navy's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 11 participate in a recent mine pouncing training exercise in the Indian Ocean.
"Back in the day, they would jump out of a helo near a mine and attach an explosive to it," said Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician 2nd Class Ruben Villegas. "They would then get picked up and go on to the next one, then the next one. That's where the term mine pouncing came from."
It seems nothing much has changed.
Currently assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), and equipped with the knowledge to detonate mines safely, EODMU 11 has been training to clear the way for Nimitz and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 during deployment.
"It's not as common anymore," said Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 2nd Class David Medwedeff, another member of EODMU 11. "We're doing this in case it happens again."
These EOD technicians held a demolition buildup earlier in the week for Rear Adm. Michael White, Commander, CSG 11, and members of his staff in preparation for the mine pounce exercise.
"The admiral and some of his staff came to increase their awareness of this capability so we can keep practicing," said Lt. j.g. Thomas Rollow, the EOD Platoon 11-0-1 officer in charge. "We've practiced on land, but this is the first time we've done this on a floating platform."
"The admiral was thoroughly impressed and happy at his new found capability in the strike group brought by our team," said Rollow. "It gave us the opportunity to practice a real scenario and get the kinks out so everyone knows their responsibilities to contribute to the overall success of the mission."