Clearance Ops Begin on English Playing Field

Northamptonshire, England Work is beginning to remove munitions from a play area near the Weedon Barracks. The munitions, discovered in July 2016, are believed to be in excess of 6,600 tons. The area near the playing field is known to house WWII ordnance, most commonly German munitions. Despite the large scope of the project, the team removing the UXO hopes to have the area cleared by February, 2018.

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Obama Pledges $90M For Laos UXO Effort

Vientiane, Laos On a recent visit to the Laos, President Obama pledged $90M in a joint three-year project with the Lao Government to clear UXO left over from U.S. bombing campaigns during the Vietnam era.

In his speech to the people of Laos, President Obama stated - "The remnants of war continue to shatter lives here in Laos." "Many of the bombs dropped never exploded. Over the years thousands of Laotians have been killed or injured, farmers tending fields, children playing. The wounds, a missing leg or arm, last a lifetime. That's why I've dramatically increased or funding to remove these unexploded bombs."

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Suspect WWII Mine Destroyed off Australian Coast

South Tarawa, Australia Clearance divers from the Royal Australian Navy have safely disposed of a suspect item found beneath a sunken vessel off the coast of the Pacific island nation. It was believed to be a WWII sea mine and was uncovered by commercial operators sent to salvage the vessel.

The divers and a support team flew to the island nation last week upon request for assistance from the Kiribati Government. Though the item could not be positively identified, officials thought it wise to dispose of the object, located at a site of an intense WWII battle where thousands of military personnel were killed or wounded.

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Police Alerted to Munitions Cache Discarded In Pond

Chon Buri, Thailand A fisherman caught more than he was bargaining for in the Phanat Nikhom district when his net yielded not fish, but over 50 munition items, one AK assault rifle, and a magazine of AK bullets.

The items, marked with Thai registration codes. It is unknown who dumped the munitions or when they were dumped into the pond. However, the munitions were in reportedly in operational condition which indicates that they were not submerged for a long period of time.

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UXO Where The Buffalo Roam

Plzen Region, Czech Republic The National Park Sumava (NPS) is a 263 sq. mile area, the largest protected area of its kind in Central Europe, along the border with Germany and Austria.

For many years now, there have been debates among environmental groups and park management officials over the future of the park. Issues such as logging, the use of insecticides, and potential development have been areas of contention.

Complicating the issues at the NPS is the presence of UXO across hundreds of acres. The UXO is a result of Czechoslovak military training that took place between 1957 and 1991 in NPS's west Bohemian section. The UXO areas of the park have been marked with signs banning tourists from entry.

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Schonstedt Instrument Company receives Letter of Thanks from Deminers in Mali

The letter reads, in part, "On behalf of the people of Mali, UNMAS reiterates its appreciation to Schonstedt for its dedicated and continuous support to the mine action sector and commitment to preventing further injuries and loss of life amongst conflict affected communities."

The full content of the report, including pictures (scroll down), can be found at http://www.schonstedt.com/newsfiles/UNMAS_Report_Mali.pdf.

Policy Change Pending In Munitions Disposal Operations

Moscow, Russia The Russian Defense Ministry has announced that starting in 2013, a change in policy will be implemented in the disposal of unserviceable munitions. Due to the significant number of accidents that occurred over recent years involving poor handling of munitions, open detonation will no longer be the preferred method of disposal.

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Munitions Destruction Program Reaches Milestone

San Jose, Costa Rica The Minister of Interior, Police and Public Safety held a ceremony to mark the completion of the 2nd phase of the destruction of obsolete munitions. During the completed phase, over 300,000 munitions of various types and calibers were destroyed in 107 OB/OD operations.

Since March 2011, over 900,000 munitions have been destroyed which includes the phase 1 and phase 2 efforts. New munitions and weapons destruction projects are slated for Honduras and El Salvador in the near future.

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Donated Demining Tools Bound for Libya

Schonstedt Instrument Company has shipped 36 donated magnetic locators to members of the Joint Mine Action Coordination Team - Libya (JMACT). The JMACT is a partnership of the United Nations and international NGOs, formed to present a coordinated mine action response to the explosive remnants of war (ERW) threat in that country.

Fighting in Libya since February 2011 has led to significant ERW contamination that threatens to increase the number of deaths and injuries of civilians and aid workers as well as jeopardize the delivery of life-saving humanitarian aid.

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Three Year UXO Hazard Reduction Effort Kicks Off

Darwin, Australia The Australian Government kicked off a three year effort to clear UXO from Quail Island, Bare Sand Island, and Djadjalbit Island west of Darwin. The UXO in the area is a result of training conducted by the Royal Australian Air Force from 1945 to 1979. To date, the UXO mitigation strategy for the area has been signage and bi-annual surface inspections for UXO that was uncovered by tidal actions.

Private contractor support is being used to support the detection of subsurface UXO with the Australian military EOD providing disposal support. Turtle experts have also been consulted on the project to ensure turtle nesting areas and habitats remain protected throughout the clearance.


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