main story image for facebook sharing

Training and Education

Exercise Fulcrum 2017 Brings Together EOD

Technicians From Various Nations

Exercise Fulcrum 2017 concluded Feb. 24, 2017, partnering U.S, Australian and New Zealand explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) experts for a two-week exchange of EOD techniques and best practices.

As New Zealand's first large-scale EOD exercise, the expeditionary mine countermeasure event focused on enhancing the interoperability of military units and improving relations between the three nations.

"Exercise Fulcrum is brand new," said Royal New Zeland Navy (RNZN) Lt. Wesley Moir, assigned to RNZN Clearance Dive Group, "Really, our focus is to continue training tactics, techniques and procedures with our coalition partners, and hopefully build on the operational tempo in future exercises."

The units involved, which included U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 1, EODMU 5, RNZN's Southern Dive Unit 2, and Australia's Mine Warfare Task Group, performed mine-countermeasure operations, helicopter operations, and dive casualty rescue. Each event gave the three nations a platform to share best practices and trade techniques.

"Any challenges that we came across we were able to work out easily and come to mutual solutions," said U.S. Navy Lt. j.g. Colin Maloney, assigned to EODMU 5. "It was a great learning experience for us. We were able to come together and accomplish the task despite any challenges that were presented by the weather, mine shapes, or bottom type."
Collage of photos from Fulcrum.

The U.S. EOD technicians had the opportunity to train on different systems used by the RNZN.

"Their [New Zealand's] divers have a lot of experience with the Shark Marine Sonar System," said Maloney. "All of the EOD technicians were able to learn a lot from them."

Exercise Fulcrum 2017 aims to help the U.S. Navy and the RNZN further develop mine countermeasure techniques and provide a full range of options in defense of their interests as well as those of their allies and partners around the world.