Andrew Trelly

Stripes Korea

Name: SSgt Andrew Trelly

Unit: 51st Civil Engineer Squadron

Job title: Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team Leader

Job description and its impact on the overall mission: As an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team Leader, I am responsible for directing my team in the rendering safe and disposal of unserviceable, unexploded, improvised, chemical, conventional, and nuclear explosive hazards. I then ensure the scene is returned back to normal in a safe and timely manner while protecting life and property. I provide explosive ordnance response capability to 56 assigned A-10 and F-16 aircraft to quickly and safely resolve any emergency. Additionally, we are always ready to provide rapid recovery of the airfield during contingency should there be unexploded ordnance present. Our job is critical in wartime to recover the base after attack, to keep aircraft flying, and to enable the Wing's ability to execute the ATO. Lastly, we support the Secret Service and Department of State in the protection of the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, and foreign dignitaries.

Time in the military: 8.5 years.

Time at Osan: 6 weeks

DEROS: March 2015

Family: Bruce Trelly (Father), Elizabeth McDonald (Mother), Kimberly Witte (Step-Mother), Michael/Collin Trelly (Brothers), Sabrina/Lilly/Rose Trelly (Sisters).

Hometown: Orange Park, Fla.

Hobbies: Cars, Marksmanship

Why did you join the military? I have always wanted to serve my country since I was young. I entered DEPs at 17 years of age with my parents' permission and enlisted shortly after graduation from high school. I have never looked back.

Where do you see yourself in 10 or 20 years? In that time, I hope to see myself leading my own flight.

What do you do for fun here? Yoga, exercise, studying, and going off-base to experience the local culture.

What's your favorite Air Force memory or story? I would have to say my most memorable time in the Air Force was during my last tour to Afghanistan. My team was attached to CJ-SOTF 528; which was a combination of British Special Forces and the Afghan equivalent to our Army Rangers. Our third mission in, at the start of the Spring fighting season, we went to one of the more kinetic regions of Helmand Province. We hopped on CH-47s (Chinooks) around 0400 and flew out. Before we even hit the ground we were being engaged. The whole time it seemed like an uphill battle to complete our objective which was to destroy lethal aid to insurgent forces and win the "hearts and minds" of the local populace. We found a large cache of IED components and Home Made Explosives (250 pounds) in a mosque shortly after our first "Troops In Contact" (TIC) event. The plume from the disposal completely blacked out the sun and poppies and dirt fell down on us as if it was a torrential down poor of rain and hail from a storm. It's a great feeling to take those items and prevent them from being used to wound or even kill fellow brothers and sisters in arms, not to mention the innocent people of the area. Later on we found and disposed of a large amount of opium (110 pounds), destroying the possibility of insurgent forces to use it as lethal aid in support of their campaign against coalition forces. The rest of the day was filled with meeting locals and the town leaders, not to mention a plethora of more TICs. When we finally exfil'd around 2000 hours, everyone was exhausted and the day didn't end without casualties. But, at the end of the day I felt, this is what I trained for. We went out and took it to the enemy. We made a difference.

What accomplishment are you most proud of? Again, I would have to refer to my deployments. To train for months, even years, and finally go and be in that environment and actually utilize that training to defeat the device, makes me really proud to be in the Armed Forces and a part of the mission. It feels good to disarm an IED, dispose of a weapons cache, or destroy hundreds of pounds of opium and know that those items no longer have the possibility of harming anyone or aiding in insurgent activities.

Who are your role models? My father is my biggest role model; he always worked hard to provide for our family and made sure we always had a roof over our heads and food on our plates. He was also the one who got me interested in working on cars, and taught me the value of working hard and completing a job.

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