Saturday, May 29, 2010

EOD on 60 Minutes this Sunday

I pass on the following from Jim O'Neil, Executive Director of the EOD Memorial:

Hope all is well with everyone as we slide into the Memorial Day Weekend.

FYSA, CBS News will be airing a special 2 hour Memorial Day "60 Minutes" program that will include some footage of this year's EOD Memorial. As I understand, the primary story is about TF Paladin and the C-IED effort in Afghanistan. There will be footage on some of our EOD warriors as well as the Bagram roadside tribute that used to happen when a U.S Warrior was lost and was being transported to the plane to be flown home. As most of you know, that parctice was stopped last year after a rocket was fired into Bagram during a procession and killed two soldiers. Bastards. This part of the 60 Minutes program is currently scheduled for the first segment at 8:00 PM EST.

As we enjoy this long weekend with our family and friends, please remember to take a moment to reflect upon, and appropriately acknowledge, the sacrifice of those who have gallantly and selflessly stood in harms way to protect our precious and blessed country. It is the least we could do.

Take care friends and warriors.

Jim O'Neil
Executive Director
EOD Memorial Foundation
813-389-0351 cell

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

EOD Book Review: The Day We Lost the H-Bomb by Barbara Moran

During much of the Cold War, the United States Strategic Air Command (SAC) constantly maintained nuclear laden bombers near Soviet airspace as a form of deterrence. On January 17, 1966, one of SAC’s B-52s rendezvoused with a KC-135 tanker over Palomares, Spain to conduct a final mid-air refueling before returning home. An accident occurred during the refueling and both aircraft collided. In the debris that rained down on the Mediterranean coast were chunks of burning aircraft, chuffing jet fuel, parachuting aircrew, and four nuclear bombs.

Barbara Moran describes this accident vividly in The Day We Lost the H-Bomb. She then delves into the exhaustive efforts recover the weapons and rid the town of any deadly radiation. Fortunately, the first three bombs were discovered in Palomares within days. Based on the accounts of Spanish fishermen who witnesses the accident, it was determined that the fourth bomb plunged into the Med, miles offshore.

Much of Moran’s book follows the efforts of Navy Divers, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technicians, and mini-subs like Alvin and Aluminaut, to find and recover the fourth bomb. Her account includes intimate details of many of the key players that she obtained through exhaustive research and interviews. Navy veterans especially will be able to identify with men like Admiral Guest, the Task Force Commander; Commander Red Moody, the EOD Officer in Charge; and Mac McCamis, the irascible Alvin pilot.

Moran’s writing flows very comfortably, drawing the reader into the story and then keeping them engaged with both politics and recovery operations. This books is a must read for those interested in Cold War history, diving, salvage, EOD, and mini-sub operations.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Interview on Elemental Musings

On 27 August (7-8 Mtn) I will join host Bev Walton-Porter on Elemental Musings with MWSA President and author of In the Shadow of Suribachi, Joyce Faulkner to discuss Proximity and the MWSA Conference coming up in September.