HomeNewsArticle Display

Article Display

Senator Tours Naval EOD School

Florida Senator Marco Rubio listens to an Air Force instructor from the Improvised Explosive Device Division at the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal as he explains how EOD technicians use robots. NAVSCOLEOD provides high-risk, specialized, basic and advanced EOD training to U.S., partner nation military and selected U.S. government personnel. (U.S. Navy photo/Lt. j.g. Elizabeth Allen)

Florida Senator Marco Rubio listens to an Air Force instructor from the Improvised Explosive Device Division at the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal as he explains how EOD technicians use robots. NAVSCOLEOD provides high-risk, specialized, basic and advanced EOD training to U.S., partner nation military and selected U.S. government personnel. (U.S. Navy photo/Lt. j.g. Elizabeth Allen)

Florida Senator Marco Rubio listens to an Air Force instructor from the Improvised Explosive Device Division at the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal as he explains how EOD technicians use robots. NAVSCOLEOD provides high-risk, specialized, basic and advanced EOD training to U.S., partner nation military and selected U.S. government personnel. (U.S. Navy photo/Lt. j.g. Elizabeth Allen)

Florida Senator Marco Rubio listens to an Air Force instructor from the Improvised Explosive Device Division at the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal as he explains how EOD technicians use robots. NAVSCOLEOD provides high-risk, specialized, basic and advanced EOD training to U.S., partner nation military and selected U.S. government personnel. (U.S. Navy photo/Lt. j.g. Elizabeth Allen)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal welcomed U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for a familiarization tour of the school and several of its practical training areas Aug. 14.

Rubio was greeted by the commanding officer of the school, Capt. William Noel, and then viewed the EOD Memorial located across from the Kauffman EOD Training Complex, where a brief history of the school and memorial were discussed.

The tour continued past the current military construction project at NAVSCOLEOD, which includes the establishment of training spaces for divisions that are currently housed in temporary facilities, improvements to utility infrastructure, enhancements to security, and doubling the size of the dining facility.

"The jobsite we are facing is the Core Division instructional building at approximately 16,900 square feet, which is one of two state-of-the-art instructional facilities for the betterment of mission essential training," said Lt. Donald Bowen, assistant public works officer at NAVSCOLEOD. "The second building is a 29,300 square foot instructional building to house the Ground and Tools and Methods Divisions, followed by a new 6,800 square foot addition to the existing dining hall."

Observing some of the primary tools in the Improvised Explosive Device Division was the next stop on the tour. Rubio was briefed by the officer in charge of the division and an instructor on the importance of the EOD robot and use of the bomb suit.

After trying on an 80-pound bomb suit, the tour continued to the Demolition Division, where non-commissioned officer in charge Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Small discussed his division and they safely detonate explosives from a remote area.

"This is a 14-day division where we teach the basics of demolition, how to put it all together and how to make sure it's safe," said Small. "When we initiate an explosion, size and environment dictates how far away we need to be."

Following the explanation, Rubio cleared the range, shouted, "Fire in the hole" and initiated a detonation.

The last stop on the tour was lunch at the school galley, "The Crab Shack," where Rubio spent time discussing the school and military with several students.

"Time and again in this country we've sent brave young men and women like yourselves abroad to secure other people's freedoms, and then turn their country over to them to come back home and take care of ours," said the Senator, to a galley filled with EOD students and staff. "You're on the front lines of that and there is nothing I can say to express my gratitude. I want to thank all of you on behalf of the people of Florida."

NAVSCOLEOD, located on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. provides high-risk, specialized, basic and advanced EOD training to U.S., partner nation military and select U.S. government personnel each year.