EOD: A job for Air Force’s best and bravest

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – SSgt. Cerrissa Witte, 21st Medical Operations Squadron staff noncommissioned officer physical therapy, works with an EOD member doing barbell squats at their workout facility on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 14, 2017. Witte works with EOD to ensure they are physically qualified to perform their mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robb Lingley)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Capt. Jeffrey Turner, 21st Medical Operations Squadron staff physical therapist, helps Master Sgt. Brent Krous, Explosive Ordnance Disposal non-commissioned officer in charge, do a “Y balance test” at EOD’s workout facility on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 14, 2017. Turner works with EOD to ensure they are physically qualified to perform their mission. U.S. Air Force photo by Robb Lingley)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 21st Medical Operations Squadron is working with the Explosive Ordinance Disposal team at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado to ensure that they are physically qualified to perform their mission.

Capt. Jeffrey Turner, 21 MDOS staff physical therapist, is one of the first Airmen to come up with an injury prevention program helping to reduce the risks associated with workplace and downrange injuries by addressing safety and health issues before they occur.

“Myself and a technician, SSgt. Cerrissa Witte, 21 MDOS noncommissioned officer physical therapy, started up a preventative sports medicine outreach program at Peterson Air Force Base to help the EOD team,” said Turner. “We are slowly ramping up a program that gets us out there at least once a week to work with them.”

EOD was created to answer the nation’s call to provide a capable and professional force charged with handling the specific mission of disarming or disposing of unexploded ordnance.

Trained to detect, disarm, detonate and dispose of explosive threats worldwide, EOD members are specialists who bravely serve as the Air Force's bomb squad. Assigned to some of the most dangerous missions, they perform tactically harrowing and technically demanding tasks in diverse environments.

“With more demanding fitness requirements in place, it’s become clear to me that a more rigorous fitness program is needed to meet the demands placed on the EOD team,” Turner said. “I’ve wanted to further improve their physical fitness and flexibility, allowing them to perform their job at higher levels.”

He said that with all of the awkward positions they find themselves in disposing of explosive ordinance, flexibility is a must. His workout programs emphasizes weightlifting mechanics, increased strength, power and agility with his goal having EOD ready to deploy in a moment’s notice.

"Our main goal for the EOD team is to prepare them to go downrange," Turner said. "We want to make them fit, not only in body, but psychologically as well."

Turner was certain this type of training should be implemented Air Force wide.

For EOD eligibility one must have a high school diploma or general educational development equivalency is mandatory, your height must be no less than 62 inches but no more than 80 inches, have no record of claustrophobia or emotional instability, normal depth perception and color vision, minimum score of 30 on EOD selection model, completion of 7.5 weeks of Basic Military Training, as well as Airmen’s Week, and must be between the ages of 17 and 39.

If you’re interested in helping with physical therapy for the EOD team contact Capt. Turner at 719-556-1075.