MANG and FANG take on Camp Blanding

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Lindsey Soulsby
  • 120th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office
Thirty-eight members of the Montana Air National Guard deployed to Jacksonville, Florida, and integrated with the Florida Air National Guard for two weeks of specialty training in February.

Deployed members of the 120th Explosive Ordinance Disposal Flight participated in training located at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center near Starke, Florida.

The training is designed for active duty, National Guard and Army Reserve units as well as local law enforcement. 

CBJTC has been a training facility since World War II consisting of 72,000 acres housing facilities where MTANG members completed training on the discharge of conventional explosives; survival, evasion, resistance and escape; convoy procedures; improvised explosive ordinance; M-107 .50 caliber sniper rifle; night operation land navigation; repelling and F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft familiarization. 

One of the training exercises included a kill house which was created by a prior EOD technician filled with booby traps, devices and hidden rooms.  The 120th EOD discovered a simulated clandestine methamphetamine laboratory that had not been discovered by an EOD team in over two years.   

"The live fire training was pretty impressive," said Tech. Sgt. Scott Hackett, who serves as a team chief of the 120th Fire Department.

"The training in Jacksonville was invaluable for us," said 1st Lt. Chad Brown, training officer in charge of the deployment. "We were able to take processes that we normally have to simulate and actually play them out from start to finish.  Being able to train outside of our norm with folks that we aren't familiar with and actually putting hands on helps build confidence in everyone."

Also deployed with EOD and the fire department were personnel from the 219th RED HORSE Squadron and 120th Civil Engineer Squadron members from power production, operations and emergency management squadrons. They were also joined by members of the 125th Fighter Wing.