HomeMediaArticle Display

Airman participates in EOD immersion

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael McNally, 355th Maintenance Group scheduler, removes the cover from an adhesive strip on a block of C4 plastic explosive during an explosive ordnance disposal immersion course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 28, 2016. McNally has worked in the maintenance support field for the past eight years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Nathan H. Barbour/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael McNally, 355th Maintenance Group scheduler, removes the cover from an adhesive strip on a block of C4 plastic explosive during an explosive ordnance disposal immersion course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 28, 2016. McNally has worked in the maintenance support field for the past eight years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Nathan H. Barbour/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael McNally, 355th Maintenance Group scheduler, participates in a safety brief during an explosive ordnance disposal immersion course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 28, 2016. The immersion course serves a dual purpose of showing the Airmen exactly what EOD technicians do on a regular basis and determining if the candidate is right for the job. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Nathan H. Barbour/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael McNally, 355th Maintenance Group scheduler, participates in a safety brief during an explosive ordnance disposal immersion course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 28, 2016. The immersion course serves a dual purpose of showing the Airmen exactly what EOD technicians do on a regular basis and determining if the candidate is right for the job. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Nathan H. Barbour/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael McNally, 355th Maintenance Group scheduler, observes as Tech. Sgt. David Collins, 355th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal flight NCO in charge of training, prepares a stick of dynamite for detonation during an EOD immersion course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 28, 2016. EOD technicians must be able to perform intricate procedures under high-stress conditions in all kinds of environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Nathan H. Barbour/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael McNally, 355th Maintenance Group scheduler, observes as Tech. Sgt. David Collins, 355th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal flight NCO in charge of training, prepares a stick of dynamite for detonation during an EOD immersion course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 28, 2016. EOD technicians must be able to perform intricate procedures under high-stress conditions in all kinds of environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Nathan H. Barbour/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. David Collins, 355th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal flight NCO in charge of training, explains the differences between two  ways to set up electric circuits for demolition to Staff Sgt. Michael McNally, 355th Maintenance Group scheduler, during an EOD immersion course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 28, 2016. The immersion course serves a dual purpose of showing Airmen interested in retraining into EOD exactly what the specialty’s technicians do on a regular basis and also determines if the candidate is right for the job. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Nathan H. Barbour/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. David Collins, 355th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal flight NCO in charge of training, explains the differences between two ways to set up electric circuits for demolition to Staff Sgt. Michael McNally, 355th Maintenance Group scheduler, during an EOD immersion course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 28, 2016. The immersion course serves a dual purpose of showing Airmen interested in retraining into EOD exactly what the specialty’s technicians do on a regular basis and also determines if the candidate is right for the job. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Nathan H. Barbour/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael McNally, 355th Maintenance Group scheduler, prepares to set off a charge during an explosive ordnance disposal immersion course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 28, 2016. EOD technicians must be able to perform intricate procedures under high-stress conditions in all kinds of environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Nathan H. Barbour/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael McNally, 355th Maintenance Group scheduler, prepares to set off a charge during an explosive ordnance disposal immersion course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 28, 2016. EOD technicians must be able to perform intricate procedures under high-stress conditions in all kinds of environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Nathan H. Barbour/Released)

A charge is detonated during an explosive ordnance disposal immersion course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 28, 2016. The immersion course serves a dual purpose of showing Airmen interested in retraining into EOD exactly what the specialty’s technicians do on a regular basis and also determines if the candidate is right for the job. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Samuel O’Brien/Released)

A charge is detonated during an explosive ordnance disposal immersion course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 28, 2016. The immersion course serves a dual purpose of showing Airmen interested in retraining into EOD exactly what the specialty’s technicians do on a regular basis and also determines if the candidate is right for the job. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Samuel O’Brien/Released)

Staff Sgt. Michael McNally, 355th Maintenance Group scheduler, stands in a pit during an explosive ordnance disposal immersion course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 28, 2016. The career field may attract Airmen because of how the risks involved encourage strong bonds between wingmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Nathan H. Barbour/Released)

Staff Sgt. Michael McNally, 355th Maintenance Group scheduler, stands in a pit during an explosive ordnance disposal immersion course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 28, 2016. The career field may attract Airmen because of how the risks involved encourage strong bonds between wingmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Nathan H. Barbour/Released)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Leaving a career field can be a scary proposition for an Airman who has been performing and learning the ins and outs of their job for the better part of a decade. The new career they choose may or may not be a good fit.

Despite that, Staff Sgt. Michael McNally, 355th Maintenance Group scheduler, recently became eligible to retrain into another career field, so he decided to change direction.

“I’ve filled mainly a support role for eight years now and it’s time to get my hands dirty,” McNally said.

McNally applied for retraining and qualified for his first choice of explosive ordnance disposal technician.

“It’s a requirement in the Air Force Instruction that you do a 10 day immersion,” McNally said. “You work directly with EOD for two weeks straight.”

This immersion course serves a dual purpose of showing the Airmen exactly what EOD technicians do on a regular basis and determining if the candidate is right for the job.

“I’ve been learning all about ordnance and the different types of bombs and projectiles,” McNally said. “It’s a lot of information to take in.”

EOD technicians must be able to perform intricate procedures under high-stress conditions in all kinds of environments.

“We’re always looking for good candidates for the program because it takes a special person to volunteer for this type of duty,” said Senior Master Sergeant Edward Lockhart, 355th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD flight superintendent.

EOD is considered one of the most hazardous career fields in the Air Force.

“I make sure they appreciate what our job fully entails and then let them know, honestly, what risk is involved,” Lockhart said. “I have faced tragedy (in this career field), however, the good we do outweighs those negative experiences.”

The career field may attract Airmen because of how the risks involved encourage strong bonds between wingmen.

“My week here has been a big eye opener to see what else is out there in the Air Force.” McNally said. “In the maintenance support role, you don’t really find a brotherhood like you do here.”