Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians 1st Class Christopher Greene and Travis Holland pose for a photo with Capt. Oscar Rojas after he presented the two Sailors with the Bronze Star Medal, June 27. (U.S. Navy/Lt. Kara Handley)

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. - Two Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 11 were awarded the Bronze Star Medal with the 'V' device authorized for valor during an award presentation held onboard Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach, June 27.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class Christopher Greene and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class Travis Holland were presented the medals by Capt. Oscar Rojas, commodore, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1, during the ceremony at EODMU 11 headquarters.

“The words captured in the citation, they have true meaning behind them because our nation rates the world’s most premier EOD force," Rojas said. "The bronze stars placed upon our warfighter’s chests symbolize everything that is good about our nation.”

Greene, from Prescott, Arizona, demonstrated courageous leadership and superb tactical expertise by enabling a direct action raid on an enemy underground headquarters overseas. Despite the constant danger of explosive hazards, he cleared an enemy cave complex of improvised explosive threats and shielded his teammates from close-range enemy fire.

During the same mission, Holland, from Golden, Colorado, demonstrated superior tactical acumen while conducting a thorough secondary clearance and site exploitation. He identified 15-20 enemy fighters preparing to throw grenades into the main cavern and positioned himself in the open to shield his team from a potentially fatal blast, while also engaging the enemy combatants.

Both EOD technicians were deployed to support Special Operations Task Force-West in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

This award ceremony held special meaning as the presentation was held in front of EODMU 11’s memorial for their fallen service members.

“Having this ceremony right in front of the memorial of our fallen is a sobering reminder of the business that we are in," Rojas said. "To be able to say that we protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, those are not shallow words. Those are very powerful words.”

EODMU 11 provides operational EOD capabilities to include locating, identifying, rendering safe, exploiting, recovering, and disposing of all explosive ordnance including chemical and nuclear weapons while providing access for conventional and special operations forces to maneuver across the full range of military operations.

U.S. Navy EOD is the world’s premier combat force for eliminating explosive threats so the Fleet and Nation can fight and win wherever, whenever and however it chooses.