News Search

AFGSC EOD “Team of the Year,” Ernest McFeron Trophy Awarded to F.E. Warren

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. David Owsianka
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

F.E. Warren 90th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD team received the first Air Force Global Strike Command Ernest McFeron Trophy for exceptional performance in the third annual Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team of the Year competition at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 22, 2021.

During the competition, EOD members were tested on various mission sets that focused on conventional munitions, improvised explosive devices, countering weapons of mass destruction, unexploded explosive ordnance recovery operations, irregular warfare, physical fitness assessments and EOD specific tools.

Throughout the competition, each team was graded on how each team could safely they could complete each task, and their speed and proficiency during each assignment. Once all of the tasks were finished, the team with the best overall score won.

“It’s definitely an honor and a surprise to win this competition,” said Staff Sgt. Jacob Haneline, 90th CES EOD team leader. “Competitions like this help validate our training and show that we are on the right track in bettering ourselves.

“Having the award being named after a fallen EOD member is great to recognize and honor one of our former members,” Haneline added.

The AFGSC EOD competition award was named after Capt. Ernest McFeron, a former EOD technician, who died while serving in the Air Force. Ernest also founded the EOD flight at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.

During his time in the military, he served in the Vietnam War. On May 16, 1965, in Bien Hoa, Vietnam, crews prepared aircraft for weekend missions. As a B-57 Canberra taxied through the parking area, one of its 500-pound bombs exploded. The explosion led to a chain reaction of other explosions.

This incident led to 27 service members dying and more than 100 wounded. Ernest was one of the service members who died during this incident.

Having the award named after Ernest enabled members of the AFGSC EOD flights continue to remember the technicians who have fallen and honor their contributions and sacrifices.

“We have a very small career field and consider ourselves to be an extended family, so being able to trace our family roots all the way back to people like Capt. McFeron is an opportunity for us to remember people like him,” said Master Sgt. Michael Ault, 7th CES EOD logistics flight section chief. “We have put a lot of focus on the most recent wars in the Middle East recently, so it’s nice to return to our beginning and recognize a member who has helped lay the groundwork for our career field.”

During the award ceremony, Chase and his family were honored to be part of the event and have the trophy be named after their family member.

“It’s a huge honor for me and my family to have the award be named after my grandfather,” said Tech. Sgt. Chase McFeron, 330th recruiting squadron EOD craftsman and grandson of Capt. Ernest McFeron. “There are several legacy families in our career field and it goes even further into the whole family aspect that EOD is with how close nit we are as a group.”

The brotherhood of EOD members continuously provides them with a strong sense of family, but having an award named after a fallen EOD family member has brought a new sense of pride in the AFGSC team members.

“It’s very important for the award to be named after a family member and former EOD leader,” Chase said. “Awards like this allows my grandfather’s memory to live on forever as we honor those who came before us and played a significant role in the history of global strike command.”