United States Navy EOD

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Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)

United States Navy Master EOD Insignia
Active June 1941 – present
Country  United States of America
Branch  United States Navy
Type Maritime bomb disposal
Role Expeditionary force, special operations, bomb disposal
Size 2,290 Active personnel
143 Reserve personnel
2,333 total [1]
Part of U.S. Navy Expeditionary Combat Command

World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Persian Gulf War
Global War on Terror

Iraq War


United States Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians render safe all types of ordnance, including improvised, chemical, biological, and nuclear. They perform land and underwater location, identification, render-safe, and recovery (or disposal) of foreign and domestic ordnance. They conduct demolition of hazardous munitions, pyrotechnics, and retrograde explosives using detonation and burning techniques. They forward deploy and fully integrate with the various Combatant Commanders, Special Operations Forces (SOF), and various warfare units within the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army. They are also called upon to support military and civilian law enforcement agencies, as well as the Secret Service.

EOD Technicians’ missions take them to all environments, and every climate, in every part of the world. They have many assets available to arrive to their mission, from open- and closed-circuit scuba and surface supplied diving rigs, to parachute insertion from fixed-wing aircraft and fast-rope, abseil, and Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction (SPIE) from rotary aircraft, to small boats and tracked vehicles.


Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams trace their history back to the first group of volunteers selected to work with the famed British UXO teams, following the initial German Blitzkrieg attacks in early 1940. In June 1941, these veterans returned to form the first class in what was originally named the Mine Recovery School. Officers and enlisted personnel entered the eleven-week school, qualifying as Mine Recovery Personnel/Second Class Divers. Between June 1941 and October 1945, nineteen classes graduated and deployed throughout the Pacific and Mediterranean theaters. Divided into Mobile Explosive Investigative Units (MEIU) they were instrumental in the clearance of explosive hazards both on land and at sea. The Korean War saw a return to action on various minesweepers ensuring the continual clearance of shipping hazards. Additionally, the now renamed Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Units took part in inland intelligence operations and interacted with ground-based units in Inchon, Wonson and throughout the United Nations Theater of operations.

The Vietnam War saw an increase in overall participation by EOD units. Units from EOD Group Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii deployed throughout the region. EODGRUPAC was composed of Mobile Unit, Shipboard Unit and Training and Evaluation Unit personnel. Deployed teams onboard ships at sea were composed of one officer and two enlisted men. Teams in-country were larger and were based from the Mekong Delta (RIVFLOT 1) to DaNang. With an overall emphasis in sea and riverine mine clearance operations, these teams ensured the continued safety for shipping and maritime operations.

Since the close of the Vietnam War, the ever-changing world situation and increased operational tasking have prompted the expansion of EOD units in number, size and capabilities. Their impressive record in recent history includes the Gulf War where EOD Technicians cleared in excess of 500 naval mines. EOD was the critical element in eliminating unexploded ordnance from the USS Stark (FFG-31) after two Exocet anti-ship missiles fired from an Iraqi aircraft hit her. EOD developed render safe procedures on-site to prevent a catastrophe. During joint operations in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo, EOD provided safety and operational continuity by eliminating booby traps, weapons caches, and performing mine clearance operations. EOD units are presently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq where they are supporting the global war against terrorism, destroying tons of post war ordnance and reducing the threat imposed by Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) that have plagued both countries. Forward deployed and fully integrated within the various Special Operations units within the U.S. Navy and Army, the present day EOD technician has changed greatly from that first Mine Recovery class of 1941. But one thing that has never changed is the level of professionalism and dedication that has been the cornerstone of the program.


EOD training pipeline

The EOD training pipeline starts with 3 weeks of preparatory training at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois. The candidate will work on swim stroke development, long range swims and physical conditioning. EOD candidates will then attend an additional 51 weeks of rigorous training. Their training starts with 9 weeks of dive school held at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC) in Panama City, Florida. Besides learning how to dive, these candidates learn about the various kinds of equipment and dive physics. After successful completion of dive school, candidates transfer to Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal School at Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. This training is broken down into specific types of ordnance:[2]

DEMOLITION DIVISION Includes how to set up various explosive firing trains

TOOLS & METHODS DIVISION Teaches you the various tools and methods of EOD work

CORE DIVISION Teaches you the basic fundamentals of EOD work

GROUND ORDNANCE DIVISION Focuses on projected munitions and grenades

AIR ORDNANCE DIVISION Focuses on bombs and missiles

IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE Includes “homemade bombs”

BIO/CHEM DIVISION Includes lessons on various biological and chemical agents

NUCLEAR ORDNANCE DIVISION Covers basic nuclear physics and radiation monitoring and decontamination procedures

UNDERWATER ORDNANCE DIVISION Emphasizes torpedoes and other underwater explosives as well as underwater search techniques

Every section teaches how to render-safe or defuse ordnance.

Upon completion of basic EOD training, some graduates will attend the 3 week-long Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia where candidates qualify as a basic parachutist.

After Jump School, training continues at Gulfport, MS for an additional 4 weeks – weapons training in the use of the 9 mm handgun and the M-4 as well as combat first aid.

The final phase of EOD training is 3 weeks of EOD Tactical Training at the Naval Amphibious Base in San Diego, California. This will consist of helicopter insertion (fast-rope, rappel, cast and SPIE), small arms/weapons training, small unit tactics (weapons, self-defense, land navigation, and patrolling), and tactical communications (satellite and high frequency). Upon completion of the EOD training, graduates are assigned to EOD Mobile Units where they gain advanced on-the-job training and experience as members of Combat Expeditionary Support (CES) platoons/companies, Carrier and Expeditionary Strike Group platoons, Naval Special Warfare and SOF Companies, and Marine Mammal Companies.

Officer Training

Officer training for the EOD career field (119x / 114x) differs slightly. Their pipeline is as follows:[3]

EOD Junior Officer Course (7 Days, Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center)
This course trains junior officers in EOD group, mobile unit, and detachment/small unit organization to include organizational relationships with detachments/small units, small group dynamics, CPO/OIC relationships, ethics, and EOD case studies.[4]

Diver Training (60 Days, Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center)
The Diver, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Course, is designed to provide qualified non-diving personnel with the basic training necessary to safely and effectively perform as a dive team member/diver in SCUBA and MK-16 UBA in accordance with the U.S. Navy Diving Manual.[5]

EOD School (320 Days, Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal)
(See enlisted training)

Basic Airborne (23 Days, Fort Benning)
(See enlisted training)

Expeditionary Combat Skills (27 Days, Center for Security Forces)[6]

EOD Tactical Training (21 Days, EOD Training and Evaluation Unit ONE, San Diego)[7]
(See enlisted training)

EOD Platoon Leader Course (12 Days)

Advanced training opportunities include foreign language, Advanced Improvised Explosive Device Disposal, Department of Energy training, instructor, and much more.


Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Group One

Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, California

Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Group Two

Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia

  • EOD Mobile Unit TWO, Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia
  • EOD Mobile Unit SIX, Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia
  • EOD Mobile Unit EIGHT, Naval Station Rota Spain, Spain
  • EOD Mobile Unit TWELVE, Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia
  • EOD Training and Evaluation Unit (TEU) TWO, Joint Expeditionary Base East, Virginia[8]
  • Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) TWO, Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia
  • EOD Operational Support Unit TEN, Joint Expeditionary Base East, Virginia [9]
  • EOD Expeditionary Support Unit TWO, Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia

See also


  1. http://www.public.navy.mil/necc/hq/PublishingImages/NECC%20fact%20sheets/00064_NECC_SubCom_EOD_FactSheet_3.pdf
  2. “Explosive Ordnance Disposal” (fact sheet). United States Navy. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  3. “EOD Officer Career Path”. United States Navy. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  4. “EOD Junior Officer Course”. United States Navy. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  5. [“http://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ceneoddive/ndstc/Courses.aspx?ID=15 “EOD “A” School Phase One”]. United States Navy. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  6. “Expeditionary Warefare”. United States Navy. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  7. “NAVY EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE”. United States Navy. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  8. Barber, Barrie (2006-06-12). “Expeditionary Sailors Defuse Mock IEDs, Prep for Upcoming Deployments”. United States Navy.
  9. Amos, Chris (2007-09-20). “Reserve EOD community forming”. Navy Times.