Explosives Enforcement Officers

Explosives Enforcement Officers (EEOs) are bombing and explosives criminal investigators responsible for processing evidence collected from crime scenes. They also conduct explosives research, development, testing and evaluations to help solve criminal cases. EEOs often deploy to serve as federal bombing experts to support major general public and government events deemed high risk for terrorist attacks. They also develop and teach operational explosives-related courses to interagency law enforcement partners. As part of these trainings, EEOs host large-scale explosive destruction operations such as Raven’s Challenge with local, state, tribal, territorial and international law enforcement agencies. 

In response to an increase in bomb threats, ATF created the advanced Certified Explosives Specialists Bomb Technician (CESBT) role. CESBTs are veteran EEOs with advanced specialized training and education, able to readily deploy to explosives-related crime scenes. Some CESBTs are also Special Agent Canine Handlers and they bring a wealth of experience to the dangerous role of explosives investigations. 

time bomb on a table Training

EEOs are required to participate and graduate from rigorous technical programs such as the Hazardous Devices School at Redstone National Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama and Naval Explosives Ordnance Disposal School in Indian Head, Maryland. They must also pass basic explosives training, post-blast investigation techniques, and firearms proficiency qualifications. EEOs are required to apply their skills to support real-world investigations and safely diffuse bombs using advanced explosives disposal techniques.

Tactical Resources and Technology

EEOs use a variety of technologies to identify different types of explosives, bombing devices, explosive materials, propellants and other explosive-related industrial tools. They work long hours in hazardous conditions, and their duties require extensive travel to investigate violent crimes. Since they work in extremely dangerous conditions, EEOs wear explosive ordnance bomb blast suits and use explosives detection robots to safely handle devices when responding to explosives incidents.  

cutting explosives wiresCombating Violent Crime 

EEOs enforce federal explosives laws by working with local police to analyze large scale explosives purchasing trends and increases in explosives incidents to generate intelligence reports that can help create leads to end violent crimes. EEOs also establish and implement render-safe federal bomb technician protocols used by bomb experts and the military for safe handling and disposal of all explosives materials. International governments often request EEOs to serve as expert explosives witnesses on internationally significant cases. 

Last Reviewed December 1, 2021