From the Frontlines: Staff Sgt. Alonzo E. Warner

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Montse Ramirez
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The explosive ordnance disposal career field places technicians in dangerous situations in which they safely handle live explosives on a daily basis. One Whiteman Airman performed such tasks in order to protect his fellow service members and the Iraqi people.

Staff Sgt. Alonzo E. Warner, 509th Civil Engineer Squadron, deployed to Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq from August to March. He and his EOD team members were responsible for clearing routes for convoys, training Iraqi military members, and supporting the airfield by removing unexploded ordnance.

"We performed a lot of route clearance. We would go out looking in specific routes convoy's were going to travel," said Sergeant Warner. "If we found anything, we would dispose of it and collect evidence.

"The evidence would then be used to identify who placed the ordnance and the authorities would try to convict them," he said.

Sergeant Warner also helped train EOD Iraqi military members to identify and properly dispose of bombs.

"He partnered with Iraqi Police counter-explosive teams and built key improvised explosive device skill sets," said Capt. Thomas Powell, 506th expeditionary civil engineer squadron/ explosive ordinance disposal.

"When we go to a place like Iraq, it's important to help them out the best that we can and give them the training they need to be able to disarm bombs safely and with as little risk as possible to the populace," said Sergeant Warner.

While Sergeant Warner spent most of his time performing route clearance and training Iraqi military members, he also executed airfield support missions, something he doesn't normally do here.

"When aircraft came in and had hung flares or ordnance that didn't properly release, we downloaded it if it was dangerous enough that the weapons loaders wouldn't touch it," said Sergeant Warner.

Aside from airfield support, Sergeant Warren also deprived insurgents of deadly IED making materials and destroyed 1,384 hazardous explosive items, saving many lives, Captain Powell said.

Sergeant Warner said it wasn't easy being away from his wife and his two children, but he realized what he was there for and took the good with the bad and moved on.

By removing hazards created by unexploded ordnance Sergeant Warner was able to transform dangerous situations into safe ones, saving many lives along the way.