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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 Hosts Groundbreaking of EOD and Navy Diver Memorial

by Lt. Brittany Stephens
22 August 2022
Suzanna Fisher, executive director at Navy Special Operations Foundation, Navy Diver Seaman Chris Pedrini, and Henry Thrift, president of Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Association, dig during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Navy Special Operations Memorial.
220819-N-YR675-9720 VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Aug. 19, 2022). Suzanna Fisher, executive director at Navy Special Operations Foundation, Navy Diver Seaman Chris Pedrini, and Henry Thrift, president of Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Association, dig during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Navy Special Operations Memorial. The memorial will be located at the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 2 compound on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, and the memorial will feature the names of fallen Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians and Navy Divers. EODGRU 2 is a critical part of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Force (NECF) that clears explosive hazards to provide access to denied areas; secures the undersea domain for complete freedom of maneuver; builds and fosters relationships with a constellation of capable and trusted partners; and protects the homeland and American way of life. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Brittany Stephens/Released)
Suzanna Fisher, executive director at Navy Special Operations Foundation, Navy Diver Seaman Chris Pedrini, and Henry Thrift, president of Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Association, dig during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Navy Special Operations Memorial.
220819-N-YR675-9720
220819-N-YR675-9720 VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Aug. 19, 2022). Suzanna Fisher, executive director at Navy Special Operations Foundation, Navy Diver Seaman Chris Pedrini, and Henry Thrift, president of Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Association, dig during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Navy Special Operations Memorial. The memorial will be located at the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 2 compound on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, and the memorial will feature the names of fallen Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians and Navy Divers. EODGRU 2 is a critical part of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Force (NECF) that clears explosive hazards to provide access to denied areas; secures the undersea domain for complete freedom of maneuver; builds and fosters relationships with a constellation of capable and trusted partners; and protects the homeland and American way of life. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Brittany Stephens/Released)
Photo By: Lt. Brittany Stephens
VIRIN: 220819-N-YR675-9729
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 2 held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction of the Navy Special Operations Memorial at the EODGRU 2 compound at Joint Base Little Creek-Fort Story Aug. 19.

The ceremony featured speakers and leaders from the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal community, both active duty and veteran, followed by a groundbreaking with shovels.

Speakers included Rear Admiral Brad Andros, director of J10 Directorate of Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction; Capt. Chuck Eckhart, commodore of EODGRU 2; Rear Adm. Frank Morneau, ret. and board member of Navy Special Operations Foundation (NSOF), and Henry Thrift, president of Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Association (Navy EODA).

The memorial will be located on the EODGRU 2 compound, and it will feature the names of Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians and Navy Divers who died in the line of duty.

“This memorial will be a place where we can connect with those that went before us. It can also be a place where we connect with those that are with us,” said Andros. “Everyone is coming together from this memorial, and we owe it to the names on the wall of the memorial to be connected with each other.”

More than 200 members of the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal community attended the ceremony, including EODGRU 2 Sailors and veterans.

The memorial will also feature a wellness garden.

“The health and wellness portion of this garden and memorial area pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice and serves as a catalyst for renewal,” said Eckhart. “This memorial area will provide a nurturing environment that cultivates the whole operator by fostering not only reflective thinking and workforce mindfulness, but also their holistic well being.”

NSOF and Navy EODA are funding the construction of the memorial and garden.

“Without the support of Navy Special Operations Foundation and the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Association, today would not be possible,” said Eckhart.

The memorial and garden will be completed in February 2024.

EODGRU 2 is a critical part of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Force (NECF) that clears explosive hazards to provide access to denied areas; secures the undersea domain for complete freedom of maneuver; builds and fosters relationships with a constellation of capable and trusted partners; and protects the homeland and American way of life.
 
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