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Thursday, April 17, 2014

5 sailors get their naval parachutist wings

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5 commanding officer Cmdr. Oscar Rojas pins the naval parachutist warfare insignia on Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 2nd Class (EXW/PJ) Jacob Daugherty during a ceremony at Nimitz Beach in Agat, Guam Jan. 24. Daugherty was awarded his new warfare device after completing his 10th parachute jump. (U.S. NAVY/JOANNA DELFIN) By JOANNA DELFIN
Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

AGAT, Guam—Five Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5 received their naval parachutist warfare devices during a pinning and award ceremony at Nimitz Beach in Agat, Guam, on Jan. 24.

As part of Navy tradition EODMU-5 commanding officer Cmdr. Oscar Rojas participated in the jump with the insignias in tow in order to have saltwater touch the pins. Following the jump, Rojas pinned the warfare devices on the sailors and congratulated them on their achievements.

“It’s a part of our culture it’s part of our traditions,” he said. “It’s a major career milestone for our sailors to receive their gold wings and I’ll tell you that every time you put on your uniform and you look at those wings it just makes you feel that much prouder.”

Though the event was to recognize command service members on their successes, Rojas took a moment to thank aircrew from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 85 who provided air support as EODMU-5 sailors jumped from HSC-85’s HH-60H Seahawk helicopters.

“Having an additional helicopter squadron on Guam has helped us out tremendously not only for parachute operations but for other insertion capabilities such as fast rope,” he said. “It’s increasing our helicopter support on Guam [that] increases our readiness tremendously.”

Australian Navy Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jamie Fields received his gold wings and said the accolade meant more to him as he was awarded during his service as the liaison officer for Australia at the command.

“The jump out of the helicopter was my first time jumping out of a helicopter and my first jump with the U.S. military and an absolute honor to jump with the U.S.,” he said. “I was a little bit nervous about actually what it was like to exit from a helicopter; however, it was smooth, it was a beautiful descent and to receive my gold wings [was an] absolute honor.”

EODMU-5 deploys and employs tailored EOD units to locate, identify, render safe and remove conventional, chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological, and improvised explosive hazards in order to enable access for joint, naval, and special operations forces within the Western Pacific Theater of Operations and elsewhere, when directed.

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