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Serving at the pointy tip of the spear.

The proliferation of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and the changing tactics of an unrelenting enemy on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan during the past 10 years have created an increase in the need for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) forces.

To meet the need of Combatant Commanders, U.S. Navy EOD forces have expanded dramatically in both size and capability.

The annual budget of EOD Groups 1 and 2 have steadily increased during the past 10 years to the sum of $120 million. The increase in operational tempo and mission resources in turn caused an increase in Combat Service Support (CSS). To meet the warfighters' requirements, the Navy established EOD Expeditionary Support Units (ESU) 1 and 2.

Primary support functions such as supply, maintenance, and communications were pulled from the EOD Mobile Units and the Mobile Dive and Salvage Units and combined into each ESU to provide streamlined CSS to EOD Group 1 and 2 units. This revised structure leverages best practices, capitalizes on economies of scale, and improves the overall efficiency and effectiveness of logistics support delivery across the force.

More than 300 active duty and reserve personnel make up EODESU-1, located in San Diego, and EODESU-2, located in Virginia Beach, Va. ESUs are commanded by a sea-slated Supply Corps commander with an EOD lieutenant commander serving as their executive officer. Sailors are drawn from 20 enlisted ratings and seven officer designators. In addition to the commanding officer, each ESU is billeted for four, second operational tour supply officers, and between 18 to 25 Logistics Specialists (LS).


EOD officers and enlisted are embedded throughout the ESU organization in the operations, readiness and training and material departments, and provide essential operational and technical expertise. The ESUs have also benefited from an influx of fleet personnel who have completed IA and GSA tours, or tours within other Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) organizations. The integration of this wide range of skill sets and experience is essential to providing support for the dynamic mission of EOD operations.

EODESUs' garrison mission is to provide supply, material, medical, communications, weapons and combat systems, vehicle and craft maintenance, diving operations, facility and combat engineering support to 14 operational units, including 10 EOD Mobile Units (MU), two Mobile Dive and Salvage Units (MDSU) and two Training and Evaluation Units (TEU).

EODESUs also provide support for more than 2,000 personnel operating in a variety of missions around the globe, including support of EOD battalions, companies, and platoons assigned to provide EOD support to conventional forces, Navy Special Warfare and Special Operations Forces (SOF), Carrier and Expeditionary Strike Groups and Mine Countermeasure (MCM) units.

ESU personnel also provide the primary interface with Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Centers, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), Naval Facilities Expeditionary Logistics Center (NFELC), Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Naval EOD Technology Division (NAVEODTECHDIV), and other outside entities to ensure the rapid procurement of ever-evolving EOD-specific equipment needed to combat enemy Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP).

As a Type II sea duty command, EOD ESU's expeditionary mission is to provide fully manned, trained, and equipped Expeditionary Support Elements (ESE) to deploying EOD Mobile Units (MU) and Mobile Dive and Salvage Units (MDSU). ESEs are mission-specific detachments of ESU personnel that deploy with EOD MUs and MDSUs to Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain and other locations in support of combatant and Fleet commanders. ESEs are led by Supply Corps lieutenants or Logistics Specialist chief petty officers who also serve as the N4 department head for the deployed MU or MDSU.

With reach back support from their ESU, ESEs provide onsite support to deployed units and enable EOD technicians to focus primarily on operations and mission accomplishment. Navy EOD units deploy primarily in joint environments and in support of joint task forces. This command relationship requires ESE personnel to be "brilliant on the basics" of Navy policies and doctrine and to quickly master the logistics procedures of the Army, Marines Corps and Air Force units that they support. EOD MU and MDSU commanding officers rely on their ESE senior leader to anticipate and resolve logistics challenges, and provide the resources needed for uninterrupted EOD operations.

The EODESU concept and deployed capabilities will continue to evolve with EOD and MDSU operations. For supply officers and logistics specialist, EOD ESUs offer a challenging and rewarding operational assignment with the opportunity play a highly significant role in operations at the pointy tip of the spear.

By Lt. Patrick Teague, SC, USN, Stock Control Officer EOD Expeditionary Support Unit ONE

Lt. Patrick Teague reported aboard EO ESU 1 in June 2011 as the stock control officer. He recently returned from a GSA where he served as the Chief of Construction and Commodities for Southern Iraq. Also contributing to this article is Lt. Cmdr. Al Deguzman, supply officer, EODESU2; Lt. Christopher Radke, Supply Officer, EOSESU1; and Lt. Hugh Wilson, Stock Control Officer EODESU2.
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Title Annotation:EOD Expeditionary Support Units
Author:Teague, Patrick
Publication:Navy Supply Corps Newsletter
Date:Sep 1, 2011
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