Explosive disposal guardsmen deploy to Afghanistan - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Explosive disposal guardsmen deploy to Afghanistan

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A send-off ceremony was held Tuesday for the 363rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, which is heading to Afghanistan.

The mission this company will conduct while in Afghanistan is perhaps one of the most dangerous, but this group of brave men is proud to serve.

They stood in formation -- 10 members of the 363rd EOD Company reporting for duty.

"We're good, we're good it's tough but we get used to it," says Sgt. Chad Ackerman.

An emotional Sgt. Chad Ackerman is leaving his two young daughters behind.

"We won't see him for like 9 months," says one daughter.

This is the sergeant's third deployment, but his first as an EOD -- a job described by the Arizona National Guard as enormously dangerous.

These soldiers will be collecting explosive devices in Afghanistan.

"Anything that is liable to go boom that's in the way of our troops as well as NATO and Afghan troops who will be on missions. So if you're driving along and you notice what looks like a booby trap, the routine is to contact an EOD unit. These guys go out and they safe the area, disarm it," says Sgt. Edward Balaban.

"He's very determined, he knows what he is doing over there so I'm not so worried about him, but you hear all the time about things happening but he will be good," says military wife Amanda Owens.

Newlywed Amanda Owens is among the families saying goodbye, reassured by the men they will return home safe.

"I try to tell her the truth, we're going to go do something that we have to do, because people have to do it to keep everybody safe at home," says Sgt. Ackerman.

The company heads to Fort Bliss, Texas on Wednesday for additional training before heading to Afghanistan for the next year.

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