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CNATT Detachment Eglin staff provides timely F-35 training to Navy explosive ordnance disposal team

05 May 2022

From Jerron K. Barnett

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – At the time the training partnership was requested and honored, little did the Sailors and Marines involved know that the training on various systems onboard the F-35C Lightning II aircraft would prove to be vital in response to a real-world incident.

Back in November, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Five (EODMU 5), based in Guam, requested training from the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Detachment at Eglin Air Force Base, where the Navy’s F-35 aviation schoolhouse is located.  EODMU 5 wanted to be more familiar with the F-35 various systems, such as the ordnance and ejection seat systems, in case the team was asked to respond to an F-35 mishap.

In January, the EODMU 5 team landed at CNATT Det. Eglin, and training began.  CNATT Det. Eglin team members Marine Staff Sgt. Kyle Palmer, F35B/C safety equipment course supervisor, Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jacob Morgan, training chief, and Ordnance Instructors Staff Sgts. John Page and Nicholas Gerhartz provided instruction and expertise to the EOD team.

Suddenly, after an F-35C crashed into the landing deck of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and sunk in the South China Sea in late January, the EODMU 5 was recalled and deployed to help recover the aircraft.  The aircraft was subsequently recovered in early March, according to reports.

Looking back, Lt. Aaron Ybarra, the EODMU 5 team’s training officer, offered praise and gratitude to CNATT Det. Eglin’s staff for their training efforts.

“Your [CNATT Det. Eglin] team’s professionalism and knowledge on the F-35 systems was unmatched,” Ybarra said.  “From the start and throughout the training, they were organized and extremely knowledgeable answering all questions with certainty. The hands on instruction, training aids and procedures provided by your team was critical in Platoon 512’s mission success. Your crew at CNATT Det Eglin went above and beyond for us and their effort directly contributed to success in a real-world operation. BRAVO ZULU, CNATT Det Eglin, and thank you!”

Ybarra’s feedback was heartwarming for Cmdr. Tammy Shaw, CNATT Det. Eglin’s officer in charge.

“I’m extremely proud of our staff for the job they did,” Shaw said.  “And to know that our efforts directly contributed to the successful response to a real-world incident, that’s awesome!”


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