EOD Royal Army
In the United Kingdom, EOD Operators are held within all three Services, the most well known being the Ammunition Technicians of the Royal Logistic Corps. Each Service deals has differing responsibilities for UXO, however they will often work closely on operations. Ammunition Technicians deal with the more complicated areas of bomb disposal namely improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Ammunition Technicians are also experts in chemical, biological, incendiary, radiological (“dirty bombs”), and nuclear weapons. They provide support to VIPs, help civilian authorities with bomb problems, teach personnel from all three services about bomb safety, and a variety of other tasks. The Royal Engineers of 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD) provide EOD support for conventional munitions on operations. Sometimes, people confuse Engineers or Sappers with Ammunition Technicians. However, while complimentary, and often working closely, they have differing skill sets with Royal Navy, RAF or RE Bomb Disposal Operators handling conventional munitions, Royal Engineers dealing providing search advice and assets and the Royal Logistic Corps providing Improvised Explosive Device Disposal. (Comment: Royal Engineers of 33 Regiment have long trained in IED disposal and clearance but operationally had not often been called upon to do this kind of work. This is not now the case with RE sappers (speaking generically rather than as a rank) handling IEDs in the Iraqi and Afghanistan theaters as well as conventional armaments. 33 Regiment Sappers are also trained in NBC warfare, incident handling etc. The main difference is that Royal Engineers are also a fighting arm – frontline soldiers who can, and do take the fight to the enemy as well as handling bomb disposal.)
All prospective Ammunition Technicians attend a grueling course of instruction at The Army School of Ammunition and the Felix Centre, UK. The timeframe for an Ammunition Technician to complete all necessary courses prior to finally be placed on an EOD team is around 36 months. Whereas the Engineer EOD training period is 8 weeks.
Ammunition Technicians, having completed their training will be posted to a variety of units involved in IEDD, EOD or plain conventional ammunition duties. Until recent times the most prestigious EOD unit in the world was 321 EOD, that has now been surpassed by 11 EOD Regiment RLC , who not only provides all the mainland IEDD capabilities, but also provides detachments for Op TELIC Iraq and Afghanistan.
US EOD covers both on and off base calls in the US unless there is a local PSBT or “Public Safety Bomb Technician” that can handle the IED – ordnance should only be handled by the EOD experts. Also called a “Hazardous Devices Technician”, PSBTs are usually members of a Police department, although there are teams formed by fire departments or emergency management agencies.
EOD Technician SSG Mednansky
To be certified, PSBTs must attend the joint U.S. Army-FBI Hazardous Devices School at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama which is modeled on the International IEDD Training school at The Army School of Ammunition, known as the Felix Centre. This school helps them to become knowledgable in the detection, diagnosis and disposal of hazardous devices. They are further trained to collect evidence in hazardous devices, and present expert witness testimony in court on bombing cases.
Main article: Unexploded ordnance
Before bombing ranges can be re utilized for other purposes, these ranges must be cleared of all unexploded ordnance. This is usually performed by civilian specialists trained in the field, often with prior military service in explosive ordnance disposal. These technicians use specialized tools for subsurface examination of the sites. When munitions are found, they safely neutralize them and remove them from the site.
 Other (training, mining, fireworks)
In addition to neutralizing munitions or IEDs, conducting training and presenting evidence, Technicians also respond to other problems. They dispose of old or unstable explosives, such as ones used in quarrying or mining, as well as old or unstable fireworks and ammunition. They escort VIPs and dignitaries. They assist specialist police units, raid and entry teams with boobytrap detection and avoidance. Another function of an EOD Operator is the conducting of post-blast investigations. The EOD Operators’ training and experience with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) make them an integral part of any bombing investigation. Another part of a Technician’s job involves supporting the government intelligence units. This involves searching all places that the high ranking government officers or other protected dignitaries travel, stay or visit.
Wheelbarrow remotely controlled bomb disposal tool.
Generally EOD render safe procedures (RSP) are a type of tradecraft protected from public dissemination in order to limit access and knowledge, depriving the enemy of specific technical procedures used to render safe ordnance or an improvised device.
Many techniques exist for the making safe of a bomb or munition. Selection of a technique depends on several variables. The greatest variable is the proximity of the munition or device to people or critical facilities. Explosives in remote localities are handled very differently from those in densely-populated areas.
Contrary to the image portrayed in modern day movies, the role of the Bomb Disposal Operator is to accomplish their task as remotely as possible. Actually laying hands on a bomb is only done in an extremely life-threatening situation, where the hazards to people and critical structures can’t be lessened.
Ammunition Technicians have many tools for remote operations, one of which is the RCV, or remotely controlled vehicle, also known as the “Wheelbarrow”. Outfitted with cameras, microphones, and sensors for chemical, biological, or nuclear agents, the Wheelbarrow can help the Technician get an excellent idea of what the munition or device is. Many of these robots even have hand-like manipulators in case a door needs to be opened, or a munition or bomb requires handling or moving.
The first ever Wheelbarrow was invented by Lieutenant-Colonel ‘Peter’ Miller in 1972 and used by Ammunition Technicians in the battle against Provisional Irish Republican Army IED’s.
Also of great use are items that allow Ammunition technicians to remotely diagnose the innards of a munition or IED. These include devices similar to the X-ray used by medical personnel, and high-performance sensors that can detect and help interpret sounds, odors, or even images from within the munition or bomb.
Once the technicians determine what the munition or device is, and what state it is in, they will formulate a procedure to disarm it. This may include things as simple as replacing safety features, or as difficult as using high-powered explosive-actuated devices to shear, jam, bind, or remove parts of the item’s firing train.
Preferably, this will be accomplished remotely, but there are still circumstances when a robot won’t do, and a technician must put themself at risk by personally going near the bomb. The Technician will don a specialized suit, using flame and fragmentation-resistant material similar to bulletproof vests. Some suits have advanced features such as internal cooling, amplified hearing, and communications back to the control area. This suit is designed to increase the odds of survival for the Technician should the munition or IED function while they are near it.
Rarely, the specifics of a munition or bomb will allow the Technician to first remove it from the area. In these cases, a containment vessel is used. Some are shaped like small water tanks, others like large spheres. Using remote methods, the Technician places the item in the container and retires to an uninhabited area to complete the neutralization. Because of the instability and complexity of modern bombs, this is rarely done.
After the munition or bomb has been rendered safe, the Technicians will assist in the removal of the remaining parts so the area can be returned to normal.
All of this, called a Render Safe Procedure, can take a great deal of time. Because of the construction of devices, a waiting period must be taken to ensure that whatever render-safe method was used worked as intended. While time is usually not on the EOD Operator’s side, rushing usually ends in disaster.
 EOD Equipment
A bomb manipulator of the German Army
“Pigstick” is a British Army term for the waterjet disrupter commonly deployed on the Wheelbarrow remotely operated vehicle against IRA bombs in the 1970s. The pigstick is a device that disables improvised explosive devices (IEDs). It fires an explosively-propelled jet of water to disrupt the circuitry of a bomb and thereby disable it with a low risk of detonation. The modern pigstick is a very reliable device and fires many times with minimal maintenance. It is now used worldwide. It is about 485 mm long, weighs 3 kg. It is made of metal, and can be mounted on a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). These factors make it a very effective, safe way to disarm IEDs. The “Pigstick” is also known as the PAN (Percussion Actuated Neutralizer), or just water cannon