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An explosion is detonated May 5, 2017, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, during a mud run hosted by the 775th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight. The mud run was part of National Explosive Ordnance Disposal Day, a day to remember EOD technicians who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. (U.S. Air Force/R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah—Over the past 20 years, military explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technicians have become very good at using high-tech tools like robots, communications jammers, smartphones, and next-generation bomb suits to disable improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in crowded urban environments.

When it comes to a possible conflict with a near-peer adversary like China or Russia, though, EOD techs are preparing for different environments, faster timelines, less sophisticated tools, and more explosives. And to meet that challenge, they’re turning to “old-school World War II tactics,” Airmen told Air & Space Forces Magazine.

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