SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 1 departed Naval Air Station, North Island Dec. 28 to assume duties as the first Navy EOD brigade to command Joint Task Force (JTF) Troy in Iraq.
Approximately 25 Sailors deployed for Baghdad to form the core staff of JTF Troy. JTF Troy is responsible for exercising command and control of operational EOD forces throughout Iraq.
As JTF Troy, EODGRU-1 will command specialized joint counter-improvised explosive device (IED) and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear forces, and conduct weapons technical intelligence collection and exploitation to assist Iraq in defeating IED networks.
Capt. Edward Eidson, commander, EODGRU-1 said this mission is critical to the safety and security of the people in Iraq and long-term stability for the country and the region.
"It is the job of the joint task force to protect coalition forces and assist Iraq's counter IED forces in maintaining the conditions that allowed a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq," said Eidson. "We are here to advise, train and assist Iraq forces in the conduct of counter-IED operations."
"The Iraqi security and military forces have demonstrated robust EOD capabilities. We will assist them in honing their skills while we continue to provide force protection for coalition forces," said Eidson.
EODGRU-1 has been training and qualifying to assume this mission over the past year.
From completing the Major Combat Operation certification in April to the pre-deployment sight survey in October, EODGRU-1 has achieved major milestones throughout the certification process, said Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Haywood, operations officer for JTF Troy.
"The training and preparation doesn't stop," said Haywood. "EOD Group One will integrate with coalition forces to support the JTF Troy mission and finalize transition of the mission to Iraqi forces."
On Feb. 27, 2009 the President of the United States directed that U.S. troops will leave Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011. Eidson said that EODGRU-1 is ready to ensure that the ISF has the skills and training required to protect and defend their country.
"The Iraqi security and military Forces are ready and are assuming responsibility for internal security," said Eidson, "We are here to build on the work already accomplished by those that came before us, who helped create the conditions for a sovereign, stable and secure Iraq. We will help the Iraqi security and military forces ensure they have the right skills to protect Iraq in the counter IED fight for years to come."
For more news from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1, visit www.navy.mil/local/eod1/