EOD Technicians Fight Off 20 ISIS Fighters in Secret Raid
Two Naval EOD Technicians were the recipients of a Bronze Star with V Device at a ceremony last week at Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach, California. Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians 1st Class Christopher Greene and Travis Holland each received the valor award for shielding their fellow service members from grenades and enemy fire in a secret raid on a cave that contained 20 ISIS fighters.
The raid occurred in Anbar Province, Iraq on September 18. The EOD technicians were assigned to Special Operations Task Force-West.
Military News reported:
Greene, from Prescott, Arizona, demonstrated courageous leadership and superb tactical expertise by enabling a direct action raid on an enemy underground headquarters overseas. Despite the constant danger of explosive hazards, he cleared an enemy cave complex of improvised explosive threats and shielded his teammates from close-range enemy fire.
During the same mission, Holland, from Golden, Colorado, demonstrated superior tactical acumen while conducting a thorough secondary clearance and site exploitation. He identified 15-20 enemy fighters preparing to throw grenades into the main cavern and positioned himself in the open to shield his team from a potentially fatal blast, while also engaging the enemy combatants.
The ceremony was unusual in that it was conducted in front of the EODMU11 memorial to their fallen.
“Having this ceremony right in front of the memorial of our fallen is a sobering reminder of the business that we are in. To be able to say that we protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, those are not shallow words. Those are very powerful words .” Capt. Oscar Rojas, commodore, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group One
Featured photo via Military.com: Capt. Oscar Rojas poses with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician First Class Petty Officer Travis Holland and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician First Class Petty Officer Christopher Greene during a bronze star ceremony, June 27, 2019 on Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach. (U.S. Navy/Lt. Kara Handley)