Canadian Troops Launch into Operation RENDER SAFE 2016

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Article / September 20, 2016

By: Major Cameron Jamieson, Australian Army

Canadian troops have literally launched themselves into action in the Solomon Islands, travelling to their island destination via a police launch and a New Zealand naval ship.

The team has established themselves at the settlement of Yandina, located in the Russel Islands, Central Province, Solomon Islands.

Yandina was formerly the site of a Second World War United States airstrip and ammunition base which was used to support the bitter fighting against Imperial Japanese forces in the Solomons Campaign.

Detachment Commander and Explosive Ordnance specialist Major Dan Shaver said his soldiers are excited to get on with their mission after some good training with the Australian Defence Force.

“We’re heading over via a Royal Solomon Islands Police Force launch and on the New Zealand Navy mine warfare tender HMNZS Manawanui to establish a basecamp,” he said.

“There we will meet up with the local police officer and get into some community engagement, which is so critical to our explosive ordnance disposal efforts, because often it will be the locals who will provide the locations of munitions which are often hidden by overgrowth.”

Major Shaver said the Solomon Islands operation provided unique tropical opportunities that cannot be replicated in Canada.

“It allows us to practice our very technical skillsets while helping people out by removing dangerous explosives,” he said.

“The combination of doing our job in a remote tropical location and the humanitarian aspect of the operation is a real bonus for all of us involved.”

The Operation RENDER SAFE series is an Australian-led multinational enduring commitment to the removal of explosive remnants of war across the South West Pacific, which continue to pose a potential danger to communities.

Continuing through to October 7, 2016, the operation is being conducted with the full cooperation of the Solomon Islands Government and in close cooperation and partnership with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.

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