Blaster, a moniker for EODBn personnel whose training and skills equip him or her to perform hazardous EOD functions. He is both unique and peculiar. Unique because his unit is a battalion size military unit but has no line companies but only detachments and teams that comprises its operating elements. The operating units are highly dispersed nationwide that perform both combat support and combat service support functions.
The peculiarities of blaster include entitlement of hazardous duty pay equivalent to 50% of his base pay. Is this collateral benefit commensurate? Yes, it is. EOD personnel can perform just about anything an ordinary infantry, engineer, signal or personel of other AFPOSes can not. From the comforts of urban life when providing VIP security functions in the centers of civilization to the remotest rural area where army soldiers are deployed; blasters are there.
When not occupied doing his most popular of job of defusing or detonating improvised explosive device (IED) or the detection of the suspected lethal bombs, blasters can reload ammunitions for 105mm howirzers used during gun salutes. Post blast investigations, ammunition surveillance, pyrotechnique and fireworks display form part of their routinary job.
The most common function of blaster and FSSU personnel is the disposal of recovered vintage bombs and unserviceable ammunitions piled up in the warehouses of ASCOM field units. In the first two months of this year alone, tons of unserviceable ammunitions of 60 and 81mm mortars and 105mm cannons were disposed by detonation in Crow Valley, Capas, Tarlac.
The AFP or the government as a whole need not to worry about explosives to detonate tons of bombs, thanks to the willing hands courtesy of resident US EOD counterparts. Expensive detonating device and exlosives are provided free. This free materials from the US government may not be in perpetuity and that is the very reason why ASCOM is taking advantage of the presence of US EOD troops. Ammunition disposal do not only declog military warehouses but more importantly, it is a move to ensure potentially harmful war materials do not land in unauthorized hands.
An undermanned EOD team of 3 to 5 personnel provides EOD services to as big as an infantry division. So if you perceive EOD personnel to be doing nothing, better think again. They maybe undermanned just like other PA units and lack the basic unique equipment but what they lack in resources they compensate it with hardwork.