725th EOD Recognized for support to ATF and local LE

FORT DRUM, N.Y. - A team of explosive ordnance disposal technicians at Fort Drum received recognition from the commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command on Aug. 21 for their response to an emergency call from civilian officials downstate.
On June 27, the five-man team from 725th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 63rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, was notified by members of the Westchester County Police Department bomb squad that they needed assistance after a large quantity of military munitions was discovered in the residence of a deceased weapons and munitions collector in Carmel.
Once team members arrived on the scene, they established a safe area and conducted a search of the house.
The search revealed more than 30 military munitions fuses, 26 projectile rounds, six hand grenades, four smoke grenades, 85 20 mm Vulcan rounds, more than 1,100 20 mm Vulcan tracer rounds and approximately 1,500 .50-caliber rounds.
Sgt. Nick Webb, a team member assigned to 725th EOD, said this was the largest cache of military munitions he has responded to in the United States.
Every piece of military munitions was inspected and x-rayed before being removed from the house. Team members remotely moved the munitions, using a technique where they use hooks, ropes and pulley systems.
Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Cunningham, a platoon sergeant assigned to 725th EOD, said they worked hand in hand with multiple agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the Westchester County bomb squad; and the Carmel Police Department and Fire Department.
The EOD team members ensured the operation was conducted successfully while minimizing risk to the public and surrounding areas.
The bomb squad escorted the EOD team to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where team members disposed of all military explosive hazards. The rest of the munitions were turned in to Fort Drum.
"The soldiers conducted themselves with extreme professionalism and showed their true dedication to the mission," said Capt. Justin Gerron, 725th EOD Company commander. "They truly impressed me every step of the way."

The ATF later notified the FORSCOM Safety Office and requested that the EOD team be recognized.

Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, FORSCOM commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher K. Greca, FORSCOM senior enlisted adviser, congratulated and presented a four-star note to Gerron, Cunningham and 1st Lt. Nathan Plough, a team member assigned to 725th EOD.
Webb and Staff Sgt. Joshua Mills, a team leader assigned to 725th EOD, were unable to attend the presentation ceremony because they are attending the Advanced Leaders Course.
"It was great to see our EOD leaders and soldiers recognized at the FORSCOM level," said Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Frey, senior enlisted adviser for 63rd EOD Battalion. "The EOD community executes many operations worldwide in support of national interests and locally in support of homeland defense.
"Recently, the majority of focus has been on the deployed operations and rightfully so, but there is still a vital stateside mission our EOD soldiers conduct between deployments, and that is support to civil authorities," Frey added. "The 725th did an outstanding job training and preparing their soldiers for the scenarios like the one they got recognized for. It was a great day for great soldiers."

John V. Simpson

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