52nd Ordnance Group
The 52nd Ordnance Group (EOD) is the command and control headquarters for all Army Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) companies and battalions located in the continental United States (CONUS), to include the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Subordinate units maintain EOD Response Teams which evaluate, render safe, and remove conventional, chemical/biological, or nuclear ordnance, or improvised explosive devices that pose an immediate threat to public safety. While subordinate units are trained and equipped for combat operations, they may also support a variety of peacetime missions, to include range surface clearance operations of active Army installations.
The 52nd Ordnance Group (EOD) distinctive unit insignia was authorized on 19 May 1993, consisting of a gold burst with overall a black stylized bomb pointing down flanked by two white swords with gold hilts pointing up; all enclosed by two parallel crimson rings inscribed "DEFUSING" and "DANGER" in gold. Crimson and yellow (gold) are the colors traditionally associated with the Ordnance branch. The bomb encircled by the rings and flanked by two swords suggests control and the defusing of ordnance by the organization. The burst and bomb symbolize the propulsion and firepower of ordnance. The two swords commemorate the unit's World War II and Vietnam campaign participation credits. The red rings reflect the Meritorious Unit Commendation the unit received for Vietnam service.
The shoulder sleeve insignia was authorized on 5 June 1995, consisting of a crimson rectangle with rounded corners and with a black border, a black bomb upon a yellow stylized explosion. Crimson and yellow are the colors traditionally used by Ordnance units. The bomb and stylized explosion symbolize the mission and heritage of the 52d Ordnance Group.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel are tasked to reduce the hazard of domestic or foreign conventional, nuclear, chemical, biological and improvised explosive ordnance which threatens personnel, operations, installations or material. This requires personnel to be able to function in a tactical environment and to perform a myriad of related duties.
As the clouds of World War II loomed in Europe, reports began to filter back to the War Department of the need for Bomb Disposal Squads. The Commanding General of the Ordnance Training Center, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, directed Col. Thomas J. Kane to develop a bomb disposal program. In January 1942, the Bomb Disposal School was activated at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. A fully equipped cadre of British Bomb Disposal instructors trained the first classes to graduate the school. Col. Thomas J. Kane and his staff departed for England to observe disposal operations and atten the Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal School.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal units have been redesigned since 1945 as follows. In January of 1945 from Bomb Disposal Squad to Ordnance Service Detachment (Bomb Disposal), in April of 1945 to Ordnance Service Squad, in December of 1949 to Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Squad, in 1954 to Ordnance Detachment (ED), in 1968 to Ordnance Detachment (EOD).
Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel have served proudly in all wars and conflicts since 1941 with a mission that has grown to include a very broad range of responsibilites and duties.
The Department of Defense's 2005 BRAC recommendations relocated the 52nd EOD to Ft. Campbell, KY. Its old station, Ft. Gillem, was recommeneded for closure in the BRAC recommendations.