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    Posted April 6, 2010 by
    Tikrit, Iraq
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    iReport for CNN

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    Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Units’ Transfer of Authority


    By Sgt. Chad D. Nelson,

    135th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, 3rd Infantry Division PAO


    CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq – About 100 Sailors and Soldiers gathered at the Explosive Ordnance Disposal compound here to witness the EOD Mobile Unit Transfer of Authority Ceremony, April 5.

                Beginning the ceremony, U.S. Navy Master Chief Eric Brower, EOD Master Chief Technician, EODMU Twelve, sounded the boatswain’s whistle, piping the official party on deck, which included the outgoing commanding officer of EODMU Twelve “Dirty Dozen,” U.S. Navy Commander Christopher A. Merwin, and the incoming commanding officer of EODMU Two, U.S. Navy Commander S. Joshua Jackson.

                Major General Tony Cucolo, Task Force Marne Commanding General, oversaw the official transfer by saluting each commander in turn.

                Acknowledging EODMU Twelve’s “Dirty Dozen” release from service and recognizing EODMU Two’s arrival to Iraq, Cmdr. Merwin recounted some of the duties his team performed while serving with Task Force Troy, which included destroying no less than 400 IEDs.

    Commander Merwin stated he appreciated the support he received from Task Force Marne, adding that TF Marne and its “Dog Faced Soldiers” worked so closely with TF Troy he considered himself and his Sailors “Dog Faced Sailors.”

                Commander Jackson was brief in his remarks upon his assumption of authority.  Making note of the sacrifices EOD Mobile Unit Twelve made during their deployment, he stated that he and his team were ready to pick up where their departing counterparts left off.  He, too, was eager to support Task Force Marne’s mission in United States Division – North, informing Maj. Gen. Cucolo that he and his Dog Faced Sailors were “a-okay.”

                Commander Jackson, Syracuse, N.Y., was commissioned from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1993.  With deployments to Afghanistan; the Atlantic; the Mediterranean and Red Seas; the Western Pacific; the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, this will be Commander Jackson’s first deployment to Iraq.  After completing Basic Diving Officer and Explosive Ordnance Disposal training, Cmdr. Jackson reported to EODMU Two, Norfolk, Va.

                Commander Jackson is the recipient of various personal and campaign awards, including the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (two awards), and the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal.

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