The US Air Force (USAF) Civil Engineer Center’s (AFCEC) Readiness Directorate has started delivering upgraded imaging X-ray systems to explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) flights.

The AFCEC delivered the first of 53 portable Vidisco Guardian 12 Digital Radiographic X-ray systems to Hill Air Force Base in Utah, US. The centre will deliver the remaining systems over the next five years.

Concurrently, AFCEC will continue organising training events to familiarise personnel with the new imaging system.

Vidisco Guardian 12 Digital Radiographic X-ray system is designed to improve EOD’s capabilities by enabling them to view internal contents of suspicious packages and identify improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and unexploded ordnance.

Unlike previous systems, Guardian 12 leverages digital technology to detect explosives.

The system combines the capabilities of the off-the-shelf systems that are currently in use. It is lightweight and can be easily transported for fly away missions.

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Furthermore, the system can work in temperatures ranging from -14°F to 140°F.

AFCEC EOD logistics lead Dave Hodgson said: “The new system essentially consolidates all the capabilities of previous systems.

“It meets all of the requirements necessary to support the mission.”

Recently, the first training event was held at Eglin AFB, Florida. EOD flights from three Florida bases, Eglin, Hurlburt Field and Tyndall, participated in the training and received the delivery of the new systems.

The procurement of the new imaging systems was an Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center collaborative effort between AFCEC and the Air Force Installation Contracting Center’s 772nd Enterprise Sourcing Squadron.

Hodgson added: “We’re committed to ensuring our EOD forces have the training, equipment and resources required to accomplish their duties in garrison and down range.

“The new systems will allow airmen to conduct missions safely, rapidly and effectively.”