The men and women of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Regiment have received one of the highest accolades that can be bestowed upon a military establishment ‘ The Firmin Sword of Peace.
11 EOD works tirelessly to protect the UK population from explosive hazards and materials, working closely with Police and other Government Departments.
The award reflects in particular the Regt’s specialist search operations during the Didcot Power Station tragedy (Operation BRIDLED) and the safe disposal of the hazardous chemical 2, 4 Dinitrophenolhydrazine (DNP) from school laboratories nationwide which posed an explosive threat to UK school children (Op MATSU).
These operations were completed on top of the Regt’s routine ‘shouts’ to make WWII bombs and ammunition, discovered by both the emergency services and general public, safe.
The award was presented to the Regt at Blenheim Palace during a ceremony which included the Band of the Royal Logistic Corps and a parade of 150 troops from the Regt’s five squadrons from across the UK.
Maj Gen David Shouesmith (Ret’d) presented the sword to LCpl Andrew Cassidy from Catterick based 521 Squadron, who received the sword on behalf of the whole Regiment.
The honour and responsibility of accepting the sword was granted to the young soldier for his exceptional contribution to the Regt’s operational output.
Most notable was his contribution during Op MATSU, his deployments to Jordan and Northern Ireland as a second in command of an EOD team.