Association of Ammunition Technicians

ATs and ATOs in the Media


11 EOD Regt RLC respond to Phosphorous grenades in Wiltshire

Queen's Gallantry Medal for courageous bomb disposal soldier

A cache of SIPS grenades from World War Two has been destroyed in a controlled explosion after being found on a building site in Wiltshire.

The phosphorus grenades had to be removed from heavy clay soil before being exploded at just after midnight.

Daily Mail Story (includes video)
BBC Story
9 February 2017.

 Pete Norton GC Awarded Honorary Doctorate

Queen's Gallantry Medal for courageous bomb disposal soldier

Canterbury University awards Honorary Doctorates to celebrate extraordinary achievement. Honorary Doctorates are recommended to those who have made an outstanding national or international contribution to public life.

See the link below for more information on Pete Norton's award.

Canterbury University Article
24 January 2017.

11 EOD Regt RLC receive the 'Millies' Award for Heroes at Home (Unit)

11 EOD Regt RLC soldiers

The bomb hunters of 11 EOD Regiment are on standby 365 days a year to respond to explosive threats in the UK.

The Regiment responded to an eye watering 1,502 incidents in the first eight months of 2016 alone, of which 241 were possible improvised explosive devices.

Their incredible skills were tested to the limit in May when an unexploded 500kg German WWII bomb was uncovered in Bath — triggering a 30-hour operation to make it safe and move the bomb.

Sun News Story
15 December 2016.

Capt A Little MBE RLC receives his MBE, 11 Nov 16

Queen's Gallantry Medal for courageous bomb disposal soldier

Captain Alexander Little was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June 2016.

On 11 Nov 16, Capt Little attended Buckingham Palace, where he received his MBE from the Duke of Cambridge.


MoD News Story
11 June 2016.


George Medal for act of bravery in Afghanistan

Queen's Gallantry Medal for courageous bomb disposal soldier

WO1 Andy Peat, a high threat explosive ordnance disposal operator, received the George Medal for his role when he was attached to a task force of a Danish Special Forces unit with Afghan partners.

He was credited with saving the lives of several other Danish soldiers and members of the Afghan police. He cleared a route to the injured man while urging the other Afghan and Danish soldiers to stay still to avoid triggering other bombs.

When he reached him he realised there was another wire underneath him - tracing it to another IED hidden under a nearby stone, he disarmed it and cleared a safe route.

BBC News Story
04 October 2013.

Queen's Gallantry Medal for courageous bomb disposal soldier

Queen's Gallantry Medal for courageous bomb disposal soldier

Sergeant David Acarnley, 31, a bomb disposal officer with 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps , was called to the aid of a Danish armoured vehicle on 1 June last year after it hit an improvised explosive device (IED).

A secondary device had been located at the back door of the vehicle, trapping the crew inside. Sergeant Acarnley’s job was to make it safe so the soldiers could escape.

But as he worked another soldier triggered a 3rd IED, immediately becoming a priority casualty.

Without hesitation, Sergeant Acarnley switched tasks to clear a safe route across the deadly ground so medics could reach him and give life-saving first aid. He then returned to his original task to rescue the stricken crew.

Ministry of Defence News Story
30 March 2013.

Street names salute Army's fallen heroes

Street names salute Army's fallen heroes

Streets in Didcot will be named after seven Army bomb disposal experts killed in action after the victims families gave their blessing.

Town councillor Tony Harbour suggested the idea last year, after meeting soldiers based at Vauxhall Barracks in Foxhall Road.

Soldiers serving with 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, which has its headquarters at the barracks, welcomed the plan but said it could only go ahead with the approval of all the families.

Herald Series (Didcot)
25 July 2012.

Bomb disposal chief praises troops

Colonel Gareth Bex

The brave work of Britain´s service personnel who put their lives at risk defusing roadside bombs in Afghanistan has been praised by a former bomb disposal task force commander.

Colonel Gareth Bex paid tribute to the sacrifices the troops have made as he received an OBE from the Princess Royal for an exemplary career in the armed forces.

The senior officer also highlighted the memory of one of his most outstanding soldiers, Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid who was killed just a month after the colonel became head of a task force that upped efforts to counter the bomb threat in Afghanistan.

Press Association
Copyright © 2012 The Press Association. All rights reserved.
1 May 2012

Bomb disposal expert gets Queen's Medal

Bomb disposal expert gets Queens Medal

An Army explosives specialist who spent eight hours in a pitch-black tunnel defusing a massive Taliban bomb has been awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal.

The space was so tight that Captain James Fidell could not wear a bomb disposal suit, helmet or body armour as he deactivated the 50kg IED by hand.

The bomb was found on August 12 last year under a road to the north east of Gereshk in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan.

British Forces News
26 March 2012.

In the line of fire: Afghanistan's IED experts

The 'lonely walk’ to defuse an IED

The heavy doors of the armoured personnel carrier swung open with a bang: Warrant Officer Gareth Wood (known to everyone as Woody) was about to tackle his first improvised explosive device (IED) of the day. The hum of engines was replaced by the shrill whine of metal detectors as the search team set to work. After locating the device they stood in a huddle, chatting and chain-smoking. A sniper was called forward and moved into position, scanning the horizon for trouble. Woody picked up his metal detector and started walking towards the bomb – alone. Everyone watched him go. He lay down, the bomb inches from his head, and started brushing away dirt with a knife and a paintbrush, as careful as an archaeologist. "You're in your own little world," he would tell me later. "It's quite surreal."

The Telegraph
17th February 2012.

Taking care of business: Meet the bomb-disposal experts

Captain Richard McCarthy

Theirs is the most dangerous profession in the world: every time they go to work, there is a good chance of being killed. Yet there's no job they'd rather do.

Captain Richard McCarthy lumbers forwards, completely encased in 80lb of Kevlar and ballistic plates, breathing battery-pumped air in a helmet that restricts his vision as he approaches the stolen silver Peugeot parked outside Heathrow. Painstakingly, he begins to examine the vehicle. Opening the boot, he finds what the police feared most: four mortar bombs primed to cause devastation.

A short while later the 26-year-old officer has saved the busiest airport in Britain from terrorist attack; or to be more accurate, he has just passed his six-monthly licensing test as a joint-service bomb-disposal operator – just one small step in the arduous marathon of examinations towards becoming one of the army's "high-threat" officers.

The word elite is overused in praise of many military units, but it appears justified when referring to the high-threat operators of 11 EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps - the men and women who make the "long and lonely" walk to dismantle bombs.

The Independent
6th November 2011.

New Charity created to help bomb disposal experts

SSgt Gareth Wood

The Felix Fund will help bomb disposal experts like Staff Sergeant Gareth "Woody" Wood, who put their lives on the line in Afghanistan, to readjust to life back in Britain.

When Staff Sergeant Gareth "Woody" Wood returned from a six-month tour defusing bombs in Helmand, he was both exhausted and in mourning.

Two of his closest friends, SSgts Olaf Schmid and Brett Linley, had been killed in explosions in Afghanistan.

In the closing weeks of his tour, a junior member of his bomb disposal team had lost both his legs after triggering an improvised explosive device, and SSgt Wood was so close to the blast that he was blown off his feet and temporarily deafened.

Back in Britain, SSgt Wood - a member of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Regiment - was helped by the Felix Fund, a new charity specially created to assist members of the bomb disposal community and their families.

This week the fund will hold its formal launch at the House of Lords, with an event hosted by Lord Ashcroft, the Conservative peer.

A Telegraph News Article
11th Sept 2011.

BBC iPlayer - Tuesday Documentary (1974)

BBC iPlayer - Tuesday Documentary

First transmitted in 1974, this is a documentary about bomb disposal teams, their training, and the problems of maintaining a family life in one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. It follows three Ammunition Technical Officers in the British Army.

BBC iPlayer Tuesday Documentary
8th Sept 2011.

Camouflage - A day in the life of an Ammo Tech

Ammo Tech

An armed force relies on its ammunition and explosives so it's vital to have specialists who know it inside out. That's where Ammunition Technicians (or Ammo Techs) come in. Ammo Techs maintain the Army's ammunition and, when it's unsafe, they dispose of it, that usually means blowing it up. Lance Corporal Kellie Cox, 19, from Durham, explains her role...

An MOD Camouflage News Article
18th June 2011.

Bomb disposal specialist wins hero award

WO2 Ian Martin

An Army bomb disposal specialist who defused the greatest number of improvised explosive devices in one day during Op HERRICK 13 in Afghanistan has won the Forces Hero category of a Scottish newspaper's 'Our Heroes' awards.

Royal Logistic Corps Ammunition Technical Warrant Officer Class 2 Iain Martin defused 12 IEDs ranging in size from five to 15kg which were targeted at both vehicles and troops, while he was deployed to Afghanistan earlier this year.

His actions resulted in the greatest number of IEDs to have been found and removed on any search on Operation HERRICK 13 during the Counter-IED team's high-risk clearance operation in the Gereshk area of Helmand province.

The IEDs were all pressure-plate initiated and located within 300 metres of each other on a route known as the Bandi Barq road.

At the Scottish Daily Record newspaper's prestigious 'Our Heroes' awards ceremony, WO2 Martin, from Edinburgh, said:

"I don't do anything unless I am backed up with a team. This award goes to them too."

An MOD History and Honour News Article
19th May 2011.

Captain Lisa Jade Head dies of wounds sustained in Afghanistan

Captain Lisa Jade Head

It is with regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Captain Lisa Head from 321 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Squadron, 11 EOD Regiment RLC, died on 19 April 2011, in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Birmingham, of wounds received in Afghanistan.

Captain Lisa Head deployed to Afghanistan on 27 March 2011 as an Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEED) (Neutralise) Operator with the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) Task Force. She was based in Patrol Base 4 in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand province, Afghanistan.

On 18 April 2011, Captain Head deployed with her team to dispose of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) found by B Company, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA), in an alleyway frequently used by Afghans and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops alike. After rendering safe the initially identified IED, Captain Head was severely injured while dealing with a second IED.

Immediate first aid was provided and a helicopter Medical Emergency Response Team recovered the casualty to the military hospital in Camp Bastion.

Surgeons stabilised Captain Head sufficiently for a Critical Care Air Support Team to conduct a medical evacuation from Camp Bastion to the Queen Elizabeth NHS Hospital in Birmingham, where she succumbed to her injuries.

A Military Operations News Article
21st April 2011.

BBC News - George Medal for bomb disposal soldier Brett Linley

SSgt Linley

A Birmingham soldier who diffused more than 100 bombs in Afghanistan is to posthumously receive the George Medal for "great bravery".

Staff Sgt Brett Linley, from Bournville, died while trying to clear improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Nahr-e-Saraj in July.

A BBC News article
25th March 2011.

A Birmingham Mail article
25th March 2011.

Bomb disposal hero Ken Bellringer reveals he is the only one of six comrades to return from Afghanistan

Ken Bellringer

It's not with bitterness that Ken Bellringer speaks out today about his experiences with a bomb disposal team in Afghanistan.

It's just that he’s the only one of his band of brothers left alive to do so.

Warrant Officer Bellringer was one of six elite bomb-disposal men who forged a close friendship as they met on missions around the world.

One after another the men, trained for war's most dangerous work, were posted to Afghanistan. Only Ken came back although with such horrific injuries he has been described as the most wounded survivor of the war.

But there's a lingering emotional pain too his belief that his five comrades would still be alive today if they had been better equipped.

"There's no question, men have been killed and injured out there because they were faced with a high level of risk that could have been reduced," he says.

"We were working with inferior kit. Bomb disposal is a dangerous job. But it was made more dangerous because we weren't supplied with the best equipment."

Instead of using sophisticated remote-controlled robots to dismantle deadly devices, the bomb disposal man's critical tool was a £1 piece of string, Ken says.

He was injured in a freak accident as he went to help a colleague. He lost both his legs, his hands were shredded and his pelvis shattered. Surgeons who began the repair work reckoned he had at best a 10 per cent chance of clinging on to life.

Sixteen gruelling months later and Warrant Officer Bellringer, 38, is still fighting to rebuild something like a normal family life with wife Chris, 40, and their children Neeve, 12, and eight-year-old Harry, at their specially-adapted quarters in an Oxfordshire barracks.

A Mirror article
6th March 2011.

Royals visit Didcot's Vauxhall Barracks to meet bomb heroes (From Oxford Mail)

11 Ord Regiment Memorial Wall

BOMB disposal experts and the relatives of their fallen comrades were praised for their "extraordinary sacrifices" by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall yesterday.

The Royal couple visited Vauxhall Barracks in Didcot to meet soldiers from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, part of the Royal Logistic Corps, and their families.

They laid wreaths offering their sympathy after meeting relatives of servicemen who died fighting the Taliban.

During a tour of the barracks troops explained the complexities of the latest hi-tech bomb disposal equipment before the Royal couple joined soldiers and families at the regiment’s Memorial Wall.

The Rev Dr Paul Swinn, the barracks' chaplain, then led a minute's silence and a prayer of dedication.

The memorial features plaques remembering 26 soldiers from the regiment who have died trying to defuse deadly devices.

The plaques include ones dedicated to Staff Sgt Olaf Schmid, 30, who was posthumously awarded the George Cross following his death in an explosion in Afghanistan in October 2009, and Captain Dan Read, 31, who was killed in a bomb blast in January last year, after defusing 32 roadside bombs in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

Staff Sgt Schmid's mother Barbara was among relatives who met the Royal couple.

Capt Read’s widow Lou was presented with her husband's Queen's Commendation for Bravery by Prince Charles.

An Oxford Mail article
12th February 2011.

Rhuallt brothers raise £82,500 for fallen heroes

BROTHERS Mike and Sean Walsh know more than most the sacrifices servicemen and women are prepared to make for their country.

The Rhuallt businessman both served in the armed forces but, more than that, they lost their brother Martin, to a booby trapped bomb.

The bomb disposal expert was killed trying to defuse the 110lb device in Newtownbutler, Co Fermanagh, in the middle of the Troubles.

That is why they have become tireless fundraisers for charities like Help for Heroes and the British Limbless Ex-serviceman’s Association - their latest effort was to raise money for the families of six soldiers killed or seriously injured whilst carrying out bomb disposal operations whilst serving in Afghanistan.

A Denbighshire article
31st January 2011.

Soldiers defuse record number of Taliban IEDs

WO2 Martin

A team of British Army bomb disposal specialists have found and rendered safe 12 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during one operation in Afghanistan.

The result - the greatest number of IEDs to have been found and removed on any search so far on the current Operation HERRICK 13 tour - was the outcome of a high-risk clearance operation launched in the Gereshk area of Helmand province.

The devices, which ranged in size from 5kg to 15kg and were targeted at both vehicles and troops on foot, were found by a Royal Engineers Search Team.

All 12 were defused by Royal Logistic Corps Ammunition Technical Officer Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Iain Martin.

A BBC News article
14th January 2011.

A Defence News Military Operations news article
15th January 2011.

Sun Military Awards ceremony - Most Outstanding Soldier

Sun Military Awards ceremony - Most Outstanding Soldier


Karl, 29, saved countless British lives in Afghanistan by defusing 139 Taliban bombs in six months.

The Sun Military Awards ceremony
16th December 2010.

Loco renamed to honour bomb disposal heroes

Loco renamed to honour bomb disposal heroes

Report from The Oxford Times news article 20th November 2010.

TO MARK their heroic work in Afghanistan, 11 Explosive Ordnance Regiment, of the Royal Logistic Corps, from Didcot's Vauxhall Barracks have had a locomotive named after them.

Following the ceremony at Didcot Parkway railway station yesterday, the train’s power car is now fitted with the plaque bearing the regiment’s name. Joining the ceremony were MP Ed Vaizey, Lt Col Gareth Bex, Keith Mitchell, leader of the county council, and Mark Hopwood, of First Great Western. Read more...

George Cross Hero is Pride of Britain

George Cross Hero is Pride of Britain

Report from Shropshire Star news article 11th November 2010.

Shropshire soldier and George Cross hero Kim Hughes capped a whirlwind week by winning one of television's Pride of Britain Awards.

Viewers last night saw Staff Sergeant Hughes, from Telford, receive a Special Recognition Award from presenter Myleene Klass and actor Dominic West.

The 30-year-old also met the Queen yesterday for lunch and sat alongside Prince Charles on Tuesday for a separate reception at St James' Palace for all recipients of the Victoria and George Cross.

Staff Sergeant Hughes, of the Royal Logistic Corps, was decorated with the prestigious medal by the Queen in June for the "single most outstanding act of explosive ordnance disposal" recorded in Afghanistan.


Littlewoods - Proud to be sponsoring Pride of Britain Awards 2010

SSgt Gareth Wood

Soldier who defused IEDs with damaged hand awarded Military Cross

Report from Defence News History and Honour news article 5th October 2010.

A bomb disposal expert who continued to disarm bombs with two broken fingers in order to save his stricken comrades in Afghanistan has been awarded the Military Cross for his actions.

The incident occurred when a fully-manned Mastiff armoured vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Helmand province in March 2010.

The Mastiff crew assessed the situation and it became apparent to them that not only had they been struck by an IED but that they were surrounded by them. Marooned in a minefield in hostile terrain, they were soon trapped under sustained and accurate enemy small arms fire.

t was at this point that Ammunition Technician Staff Sergeant Gareth Wood, 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, and his counter-IED team were called in. After being flown by helicopter to the nearest patrol base he and his team knew that they had to work quickly as there were only a few hours of daylight left.

The bomb disposal expert quickly got to work but as he removed one of five explosive devices that stood between the stranded British patrol and safety the situation quickly deteriorated as he felt a searing pain in his right hand - the one he was using to search for the IEDs.

Staff Sergeant Wood had broken two fingers and lacerated his hand as he ripped the second of the IEDs he encountered that day from the ground.

Despite protestations from his fellow soldiers to return to base for medical attention Staff Sergeant Wood insisted on carrying on after only rudimentary first aid. Read more..

WO James Avent

Bet on Armed Forces winner

Report from GetReading News 30 September 2010.

Soldier James Avent will be welcomed as guest of honour to the 2010 John Smith’s Armed Forces Raceday at Newbury Racecourse next month.

Warrant Officer Avent from the Royal Logistic Corps is a qualified High Threat Improvised Explosive Device Disposal Expert. The Exeter man served during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and since 2008 has spent two lengthy stints in Afghanistan.

He will be leading the launch of the Berkshire Poppy Appeal in aid of The Royal British Legion, which will mark the beginning of an action packed day of seven flat races and Armed Forces’ themed entertainment.

Newbury Racecourse welcomes military personnel and RBL members for free into the Premier Enclosure during the fixture on October 23. A discount is also available for these groups in either of the racecourse’s two restaurants. Private boxes start from £35. Read more..

Sergeant Major Karl Ley

Bomb disposal expert awarded George Medal

Report from Oxford Mail online 24 September 2010.

AN ARMY explosives expert who has defused more bombs than any other British soldier in history has been awarded the George Medal.

Sergeant Major Karl Ley, of the Royal Logistic Corps, who is based at Didcot’s Vauxhall Barracks, has so far defused 139 Improvised Explosive Devices in Afghanistan.

In just 72 hours last November, he defused 28 IEDs and tackled 14 other bombs.

Last night the Ministry of Defence paid tribute to the "sheer determination, guile and awesome bravery" of the 30-year-old soldier.

Sgt Maj Ley's award is for his actions in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province between September last year and March this year.

Along with colleagues in the Counter-IED Task Force, Sgt Maj Ley was cheered through the streets of Didcot in April when they returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

His award citation says: "Sergeant Major Ley has dealt with more IEDs than any other operator in history.

"In supporting the infantry's intensity of operations, Ley has willingly accepted an incredibly high level of personal risk, often having to deploy on foot with only what he could carry in his rucksack.

"The 72 hours last November typify the sheer determination, guile and awesome bravery of this man.

"During his six-month deployment Ley has been exposed to more than twice the number of IEDs than any one other High Threat IED Operator.

"With a limited number of available IED operators, Ley has worked tirelessly in the most hazardous of conditions, enduring both mental and physical fatigue, displaying unwavering dedication and conspicuous gallantry over a sustained period."

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox paid tribute to Sgt Maj Ley and a number of other soldiers who were honoured with medals today. Read more..

Teesside families’ pride at Elizabeth Cross ceremony

Teesside families' pride at Elizabeth Cross ceremony

Report from GazetteLive newspaper online dated 5 September 2010.

FIVE proud families have been honoured with an award in the Queen's name in recognition of loved ones who lost their lives while serving in the Armed Forces.

The Teesside families were presented with the Elizabeth Cross by Lord Crathorne, Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire.

The commemorative emblem is awarded to the next of kin of personnel who have died on operations, or as a result of an act of terrorism, in recognition of their loss and sacrifice.

Warrant Officer Class 2 William James Clark was born in 1937 in Singapore. After a brief spell in the Royal Air Force, he joined the Army in May 1955, enlisting into the Royal Army Ordnance Corps as an ammunition technician. He served in numerous countries, including Cyprus and Borneo.

In 1972, he left for Northern Ireland on Operation Banner. On August 3 1972, he was killed by an explosive device left by Republican terrorists. His son, Andrew Clark, now 42, from Coulby Newham, received the award alongside his former wife Sharon, 40, and sons Joseph, 10, and Ryan, eight.

Andrew said: "I am so honoured my father's sacrifice has been recognised. I would like to personally thank Her Majesty the Queen for an award that will be treasured and passed down the family." Read more..

Funeral of SSgt Brett Linley

Funeral for Birmingham bomb disposal soldier

Report from BBC News Birmingham dated 6 August 2010.

The funeral of a soldier killed by an explosion in Afghanistan has taken place.

Bomb disposal expert Staff Sgt Brett Linley, 29, of Birmingham, died while trying to clear improvised explosive devices in Nahr-e-Saraj on 17 July.

The theme of the funeral at St Francis of Assisi church, Bournville, will be his favourite colour purple.

The service was led by Rev Jane Adams, who taught the soldier at primary school and is a family friend.

It was followed by a private burial at the Wythall Cemetery.

Staff Sgt Linley enlisted into the Royal Logistic Corps in March 2001 and qualified as an ammunition technician in September 2002.

He completed three tours of duty in Northern Ireland, and was also deployed to the Falkland Islands and Canada. His commanding officer praised his "calm, considered manner."

Staff Sergeant Brett George Linley, RLC, killed in Afghanistan

Staff Sergeant Brett George Linley, RLC, killed in Afghanistan

From a Defence News | Military Operations article dated 18th July 2010

The Ministry of Defence confirms that Staff Sergeant Brett George Linley, of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps, was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday 17 July 2010.

Staff Sergeant Linley, serving with the Counter-IED Task Force in support of Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (South), was killed in an explosion during a counter-IED operation in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand province.

Staff Sergeant Brett George Linley was 29 years old and from Birmingham. He enlisted into the Royal Logistics Corps in March 2001 and qualified as an Ammunition Technician in September 2002.

Over the next eight years, Staff Sergeant Linley trained for several Counter-IED roles and most recently in March 2010, qualified as a High Threat IEDD Operator.

During this time he perfected his bomb disposal skills whilst deployed on three separate tours of duty in Northern Ireland, working closely with the Police Service of Northern Ireland. He also deployed in the Ammunition Technician role to the Falklands Islands and Canada.

In late March 2010, Staff Sergeant Linley deployed with his IEDD team on Operation HERRICK to Afghanistan and conducted dozens of IED clearances across Helmand province.

Bomb disposal experts honoured by the Queen

Bomb disposal experts honoured by the Queen

From Defence News History and Honour article dated 10th June 2010

Staff Sergeant Kim Hughes and the family of the late Captain Daniel Shepherd received gallantry medals from Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace, London, yesterday, Wednesday 9 June 2010.

Bomb disposal expert Staff Sergeant Hughes, from the Royal Logistics Corps, was awarded the George Cross for his actions in Helmand province in August 2009 which were described in his citation as 'the single most outstanding act of explosive ordnance disposal ever recorded in Afghanistan'.

The George Cross ranks alongside the Victoria Cross as one of the nation's highest awards for gallantry. It is awarded for 'acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger'.

Bomb disposal expert Captain Daniel Shepherd from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, was also posthumously honoured yesterday by the Queen who presented his family with the George Medal.

Captain Daniel Shepherd

Courage of Lincolnshire bomb squad officer

From BBC News article dated 28th May 2010

Captain Daniel Shepherd was an "incredibly courageous" soldier who was "the first to put his own life on the line".

Those were the words of his commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Roger Lewis, read out by coroner Stuart Fisher at the conclusion of the 28-year-old's inquest.

His colleagues, family and some members of the court staff were reduced to tears by the tribute, in which the soldier was said to be "adored" by his men.

Lt Col Lewis added: "Captain Shepherd was an extraordinary officer; composed, compassionate, utterly charming and imbued with a single-minded determination to put others before himself."

Soldiers were presented with medals at the end of the parade

Hundreds of people have gathered in Oxfordshire to welcome home bomb disposal experts who have returned from Afghanistan.

From BBC News here , here and here dated 16th April 2010

Residents lined the streets of an Oxfordshire town to welcome home 200 British Army bomb disposal experts.

The Counter Improvised Explosive Device task force held a homecoming parade through Didcot on Friday.

The soldiers, who lost seven colleagues during a six-month tour of Afghanistan, were later honoured with campaign medals.

Their commanding officer, Lt Col Gareth Bex, said it was a "huge relief" for the troops to be home. The C-IED task force has been at the forefront of the battle to regain control of areas of Afghanistan from Taliban fighters.

Improvised explosive devices, or home-made bombs, have been the main weapon used against coalition forces in the country and have caused scores of deaths and injuries among British troops.

The last six-month tour saw the loss of Captain Dan Read, Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid, Corporal Loren Marlton-Thomas, Warrant Officer David Markland, Corporal James Oakland, Sapper Guy Mellors and Sapper David Watson, who all died while working to clear devices.

Two of the team have been awarded the George Cross, the highest award for gallantry. One was given posthumously to Staff Sergeant Schmid and the other to Staff Sergeant Kim Hughes. Read more...

Capt Wayne Owers

Army officer honoured for defusing record number of bombs in Afghanistan

From dated 24 March 2010

An Army officer who has been honoured for defusing a record 93 bombs while serving in Afghanistan said he only survived through "sheer luck".

Captain Wayne Owers dismantled the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during a six month deployment in Helmand Province last year.

It is the highest number dealt with in a single operational tour and for his bravery the 39-year-old will receive the Queen's Gallantry medal.

His citation reads: "Such courage and resolute determination to complete tasks irrespective of the risk to his life has been inspirational, enabling countless missions to succeed and has directly saved innumerable lives." Read more...

Daniel Shepherd

Captain Daniel Shepherd: Bomb disposal expert killed by IED awarded George Medal

From dated 18 March 2010

Kelly Shepherd, the widow of Captain Daniel Shepherd, stands with other recipients of military honours.

Captain Daniel Shepherd, a bomb disposal expert with the Royal Logistic Corps, was posthumously awarded the George Medal.

He was killed in Nad-e-Ali in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan in July last year trying to disarm an IED. Read more...

Bomb disposal experts awarded George Cross

A Defence | news History and Honour news article dated 18 March 2010

Two British military bomb disposal experts, one of whom gave his life in the line of duty, have been awarded one of the UK's highest awards for gallantry, the George Cross.

At a special ceremony in London today, Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, confirmed that Staff Sergeant Kim Hughes and his fallen colleague the late Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid are to have the gallantry award bestowed upon them.

SSgt Hughes and Mrs Christina Schmid, SSgt Schmid's widow, were present at the ceremony, where they were both personally congratulated by Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup and the Secretary of State for Defence Bob Ainsworth.

The George Crosses will be presented in a royal investiture at a later date. Read more...

Capt Judith Gallagher

The REAL Hurt Locker: Bomb disposal robot that you can carry in a rucksack

From MailOnline Wednesday 17th March 2010

A high tech bomb disposal robot that fits into a back pack has been unveiled by the Ministry of Defence today.

The Dragon Runner device will help soldiers to find and deactivate dangerous explosives on the front line. Its capabilities were demonstrated by members of the Royal Logistics Corps today.

Measuring 9"x8"x3", the light-weight robot is reminiscent of the robots used in the Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker. It weighs 14lbs - the same as seven bags of sugar- and can move at speeds of up to 5mph. Read more...

Defusing the troubles

Defusing the troubles

From Blackpool Gazette - Monday 1st March 2010

Paul Wharton made the long lonely walk, resolve rising with each jelly legged stride. He stooped to look inside a culvert under the road outside Newry. What he saw chilled him, as it had the local who had spotted it.

Seven milk churns filled with 600lb of fertiliser-based high explosives, booster charges made up of even more sensitive explosives, a length of quarry cord, electric detonator attached.

Operated by switch - or radio control? By a man hiding in a hedge nearby or others up to half a mile away, binoculars trained on approaching military vehicles?

All of it possibly booby trapped. Paul's task, to defuse the lot. This was Northern Ireland, 1981, Paul's third and last tour of duty. He's far from home. Read more..

Dan Read Funeral

'An Emperor amongst men'

From - Thursday 4th February 2010

A VERY, very special man, with an unbelievable amount of courage - those were the words spoken in Truro Cathedral on Thursday to describe Captain Dan Read.

Over 700 people were in the cathedral, and hundreds lined the streets outside for the funeral of Dan Read, the second farewell to a bomb disposal expert in the county’s main place of worship in less than three months.

Captain Read was killed in Afghanistan on January 11 as he was attempting to defuse a roadside bomb. Read more..

Truro soldier Olaf Schmid added to city war memorial

Truro soldier Olaf Schmid added to city war memorial


From Falmouth Packet - Tuesday 2nd February 2010

A plaque was dedicated on the city's war memorial to bomb disposal expert Olaf Schmid this afternoon – the first name to be added for more than two decades.

Staff Sergeant "Oz" Schmid was killed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan last October while attempting to defuse a roadside bomb on the final day of his tour of duty.

The Truro-born soldier with the Royal Logistic Corps is the first name to be added to the city's war memorial since the Falklands. Read more..

Times Team of the year

British Army bomb disposal squad is The Times's Team of the Year

From TimesOnline - Tuesday 29 December 2009

No one can doubt the individual courage required to walk down a road towards a bomb, but it is the collective courage of British bomb disposal teams in Afghanistan that The Times wishes to recognise this year in making 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Regiment our “Team of The Year”. Read more..