"EOD, Up!" how explosive ordnance disposal forces can best support special operations forces
Draper, Stephen R.
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U.S. special operations forces (SOF) are likely to undertake missions against terrorists, insurgents, and other enemies where they will encounter explosive hazards. Identification, detection, and neutralization of weapons of mass destruction, improvised explosive devices, booby-traps, and similar weapons requires the support of technicians trained in explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), an expertise that is not resident in SOF units. Consequently, there is a need for EOD technicians with SOF capabilities who can readily integrate with them. This thesis employs a variety of methodologies, from an analysis of required capabilities to an application of game theory, to determine how SOF can be best supported by existing EOD forces and how the supporting command structures and relationships may be improved. It concludes that the Navy's EOD force is best suited to provide support to SOF, and should be included in all special operations planning documents. Those Navy EOD units tasked to provide support to SOF should be consolidated into one organization dedicated to that mission. Finally, when supporting SOF, the Navy should replace its current eight-person EOD operational element with a two-man team that will better match SOF operational requirements.
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