Ammunition technicians get a blast out of training

Ammunition technicians put theory into practice when they dealt with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device on a recent exercise.

CAPTIONArmy Corporal Nathan Jones, part of the Joint Explosives Ordnance Support explosive ordnance disposal team, places a charge during Exercise Nepean Harvest 23 at Marrangaroo Military Training Area. Story by Captain Thomas Kaye. Photo by Sergeant Brodie Cross.

Joint Explosive Ordnance Support gathered ammunition technicians serving in Army and Joint Logistics Command for collective explosive ordnance disposal training at Marrangaroo Training Area, NSW, in May and June.

The purpose of Exercise Nepean Harvest was to maintain the technicians’ proficiency and certifications, while developing their skills.

Participating in the activity for the first time, Corporal Nathan Jones said senior trade members provided a significant knowledge base and enthusiastically passed on their practical experience.

“We take the theory we learn in the classroom, then consolidate our new skills and methods on the range,” Corporal Jones said.

“This was my first time working with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device scenario.

“This type of practical training, where I was able to detonate a charge in the front to disrupt any devices in the internal cabin, was very useful.”

Tasks of ammunition technicians extend to other agency partners and civil authorities in identifying and disposing of unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices in the public domain.

17th Sustainment Brigade senior ammunition technician Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Jonathon McLennan has worked with many state authorities and is keen to see potential incoming ammunition suppliers experience the trade opportunities.

“Our basic responsibilities are managing ammunition for storage, transportation and disposal,” WO1 McLennan said

“However, when you become an ammunition technician, that is when you specialise further into the critical explosive safety and disposal roles.

“You provide technical advice and develop an expert understanding of both ammunition and explosives to be able to support organisations both within and external to Defence.

“It’s great to see experienced members of the trade sharing their knowledge with the newer members as they develop their skills.”

CAPTIONAn explosive ordnance disposal team renders a vehicle safe during Exercise Nepean Harvest 23 at Marrangaroo Military Training Area. Photo by Sergeant Brodie Cross.


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