Defense by destruction: MXG receives rare EDM training

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Katrina Heikkinen
  • 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Wolf Pack Airmen completed hands-on emergency destruction of munitions training in conjunction with Exercise Beverly Midnight 15-1, Oct. 23.

Airmen from the 8th Maintenance Squadron had the rare opportunity to simulate destroying facilities through EDM - a measure used to prevent enemies from gaining access to critical munitions assets to use against the U.S. Armed Forces and its allies. 

"We planned meticulously for EDM from start to finish," said Master Sgt. Michael Leone, 8th MXS munitions storage NCO in charge. "There were teams dedicated to getting the keys to open up the buildings needing to be destroyed; teams receiving ammunition and placing bomb pallets in buildings; teams running detonation cord; teams running branch lines that connect to prepositioned bombs; verification teams that made sure lines were running properly and would detonate as planned and inspection teams that measured time fuse and experts who calculated detonation rates."

Despite the possibility of numerous setbacks, maintenance Airmen took the task in stride.

Although EDM usually takes more than 10 hours to complete with more than 70 personnel - Kunsan's 8th Maintenance Squadron completed the process in record time with only 55 personnel, spanning an area of 168 acres.

"There were no gaps in this process," Leone said. "Our Airmen adapted and overcame. Our leadership and munitions control element had clear and concise direction, and our execution was excellent."
"We completed a 10 to 11 hour process in four and a half hours - and some of that was done in MOPP4," said Senior Master Sgt. Kirk Barker, 8th MXS munitions material section chief. "The last time I did EDM was 13 years ago. Some people haven't done it for 10 years - if at all."

For Airman Basic Michael Roberts, 8th MXS munitions storage crew member, this was his first time practicing EDM.

"I've only been at Kunsan for one week," Roberts said. "Coming straight from technical school, I feel grateful for being thrown straight into this training, especially considering I may not have the opportunity to do this again for a long time."

According to Leone, with the time it took, the experience of the Airmen and the magnitude of the process - the seamless simulation couldn't have gone better.

"Airmen were out there on the job working so hard they forgot they were in MOPP gear," Leone said. "Their motivation and dedication was extremely impressive to see. We know the business of how important and serious EDM is and our Airmen were not going to fail."