Airman 1st Class Kyle Miller, 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal apprentice, ties a rope around a simulated unexploded ordnance to remotely pull the device during a Conventional Operational Readiness Exercise on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Feb. 24, 2011. The unit's main mission is to detect, identify, recover and dispose of conventional, incendiary, chemical, biological and nuclear ordnance. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Y. Bateman)(RELEASED)
Staff Sgt. Glenn Henthorn scans the ground with a mine and metal detector during a training exercise March 3, 2011, at Ali Air Base, Iraq. Sergeant Henthorn is an explosive ordnance disposal team chief assigned to the 407th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Lee)
by By Senior Airman Chad Warren
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
2/3/2012 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- The 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight was awarded the SMSgt Gerald J. Stryzak Award for its outstanding 2011 accomplishments.
The award, named in honor of an EOD technician who died in a 1980 aircraft crash in Egypt, recognizes the EOD flight that distinguished itself as the top performing unit in the Air Force throughout the year.
"Everyone in the flight was honored to be recognized for their hard work," said Tech. Sgt. Samuel McCalister, 2 CES EOD technician. "Having to stay on top of training and equipment issues in between exercises and inspections, along with our high deployment rate, takes a combined effort from everyone in the flight."
Immortalized in the 2008 film, "The Hurt Locker," the EOD career field is one of the most dangerous jobs in the war-fighting environment today. Improvised explosive devices are the No. 1 threat to coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, accounting for 7,800 deaths and casualties in 2010 alone, according to USA Today.
Tasked with identifying and neutralizing IEDs in deployed locations, EOD technicians are continuously put into harm's way. With so many lives in their hands, the Airmen who
make up this elite unit must operate with the utmost commitment to the mission.
"Everyone here is entirely dedicated, from our lowest ranking Airman to our lieutenant," said Tech. Sgt. Eric Gordon, 2 CES EOD technician. "The level of effort we put into our missions is the highest possible."
The award is one category of the larger annual Air Force Civil Engineer and Environmental awards, recognizing units and individuals in 36 categories. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the CE awards, making this a milestone year in the history of Air Force Civil Engineer excellence.
Also honored was Lt. Col. Douglas Tippet, 2 CES commander, who received second place for the Maj. Gen. L. Dean Fox Award recognizing the top CE senior military managers.
The recent honors are the latest in an extensive list of recognitions achieved by the "Mighty Deuce" this past year. These awards are a testament to the 2nd Bomb Wing's ability to perform at the highest standards at home while continuing to provide devastating combat capability. Anytime... Anywhere.
2/3/2012 9:27:49 PM ET Great job keep up the good work.