The Boston bombings showed the world the horrors IED's can cause.
Few know them as intimately as one group at Robins Air Force Base.
The Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit of the 116th Air Control Wing works each day, at home and abroad, to keep that destruction at bay.
SMSgt. John Bell said, "My heart goes out. The rest of my team feels the same. We try to keep this from happening and unfortunatly, it did."
His emotional reaction is the same as most people's across the country. It's his professional training that makes Bell see the bombing through another lens.
He said, "You look for debris. You look for shrapnel. Look for some kind of firing device, can be wires, can be phones, can be anything."
Bell and his team can't guess at what happened in Boston, saying, "I would never try to quarterback a response of that nature."
They do know what the boots on the ground want to find.
Bell said, "They'll check for residue. They'll start getting biometrics and building a picture, try to reconstruct a device."
In a subway bombing overseas, terrorists used a suitcase pipe bomb. Bell showed an example of similar one. He estimated the Boston bombs weren't much bigger.
He said, "It was probably in the neighborhood of about 5 pounds."
Bell said if someone spotted the devices first, EOD teams would have used every technology to defuse it.
That could have included a remote control camera to look first, or a robot to inspect and defuse the bomb.
Bell said, "We can lose a robot easier than losing a person."
He said his team takes risks, too.
TSgt. Barry Duffield showed the 70 to 100 pound suit that separates them from a bomb. A squad wore the same suit in Boston.
He said, "You start breaking it down piece by piece. By doing that you can find a way to defeat it."
Massachusetts leaders requested the assistance of the Navy EOD team from Newport Rhode Island to help investigate the Boston bombings. They perform the same duties as the Robins EOD team, and are also capable of diving to defuse submerged weapons.