FORT RILEY, Kan. (WIBW) -- Fort Riley soldiers who specialize in uncovering and destroying deadly bombs are taking their skills to Afghanistan.
Forty members of the 84th Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Battalion Headquarters are deploying to Eastern Afghanistan.
A formal farewell ceremony was held on Fort Riley's Custer Hill Friday.
The troops will be helping Fort Riley's 1st Infantry Division Headquarters as they lead a regional command in an area the size of the state of Virginia.
While deployed, the explosives group, known as the "Crimson Talons," will also serve as the headquarters for six other explosives companies located throughout the region. They'll work under Combined Joint Task Force-Paladin.
"We’re going to support the 1st Infantry Division and Regional Command East. We’re there to provide command and control for all EOD forces in that specific area. At the same time, my soldiers are in the lead against the fight against the IED network. It’s a pretty significant mission that’s coming- a very tough and daunting foe, a very tough mission," said Lieutenant Colonel Mike Buckley, Battalion Commander.
“EOD stands for Explosive Ordinance Disposal. The layman’s term is the Army bomb squad. We’ve spent a significant about of time, in the situation where we’re going, training on how to defeat the improvised explosive device, the booby trap, the bomb, the deep area devices that are killing our soldiers down range. And that’s primarily what I will have a significant amount of soldiers working on throughout that area in support of coalition forces to hopefully keep people from harming or killing both our coalition forces and innocent Afghanis," Buckley added. He said the soldiers will deploy in the next 7-10 days.
"A soldier marches to the sound of guns. They go to their nation’s calling and today, they’re ready. They’re very motivated. They’re very disciplined and I have no doubt they’re going to make their country proud. They’re going to make this unit and this installation very proud. The reality in our line of work is that there are no second chances. That’s why the training is ongoing because there’s simply no room for error. The cost is too great," Buckley told WIBW.