The Philippine Star, Sunday, 16 January 2011
The US Navy recently feted a Filipino Navy officer and explosives disposal expert for his efforts to ensure the safety of civilians against explosive devices.
Lt. Leo Dimoc was given the Explosive Ordnance Device (EOD) Officer Master Technician and Warfare badge, the first Filipino to receive such recognition. The badge signifies that the recipient is capable of handling explosive devices based on the qualifications set by the US Navy.
Navy spokesman Capt. Giovanni Bacordo said Dimoc is only the fourth Asian to receive such a badge.
“The award is based upon Lt. Dimoc’s sustained superior performance over the last two years, having flawlessly executed his chain of command’s EOD vision by tactically leading his team during the disposal of more than 100,000 rounds of retrograde ordnance, with a perfect safety record,” Bacordo said.
Dimoc was honored in a ceremony attended by Navy and police officials and representatives from the Joint United States Military Advisory Group in Camp Aguinaldo. Dimoc has been handling explosive devices since he joined the Naval Special Operations Group in 1997. He had shipping experience on board the BRP Quezon and BRP Pangasinan.
“As a demolitionist, we destroy the enemy and their implements. As an EOD technician, we render safe disposal of unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices,” Dimoc said.
Dimoc underwent training for seven months at the Basic Naval EOD Course at the Naval School EOD in Florida. He led the unit which disposed of around 40,000 lbs of explosive war remnants at the Naval Ordnance Depot Detachment in Caballo Island in 2009 and 2010. He also led a group that disposed a submarine-launched mobile mine at the east coast of Luzon and recovered a hand grenade at the Cavite City Hall.
Dimoc was also involved in the disposal of a fragmentation grenade thrown by a suspected Abu Sayyaf member at a village in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi. In addition, he helped organize the Counter IED conference in Fort Bonifacio in 2009.