Royal Solomon Island Police Force shows Canadian RENDER SAFE team unique bomb disposal technique

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Article / October 4, 2016 / Project number: cjoc

By: Captain Anna-Lise Rosendahl, Australian Defence Force

Royal Solomon Islands Police Force officers demonstrated their unique method of disposing World War II munitions to a Canadian explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team at Hells Point in Guadalcanal on Operation RENDER SAFE.

Several munitions found during the operation were destroyed using the cut and burn method, which sees ordnance sawed in half remotely and the internal explosives burned underground.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician Sergeant Steven Krose from the Canadian Army said it’s a unique method.

“I’ve never seen that anywhere else before. They’ve had a 100 percent success rate so it works for them and it’s definitely a cost effective way of getting rid of mass explosives,” he said.

Almost 1100 individual items of remnants of war have been destroyed at Hells Point since Operation RENDER SAFE began in September.

Many have been found in and around Honiara.

“We did a farm down the road where we found 371 pieces of ordnance on a farm where there were children playing around,” Sergeant Krose said.

“We’re removing them so people have a safer area to farm, live and work in.”

Approximately 18 personnel, including combat engineers from the Canadian Army, aviation technicians from the Royal Canadian Air Force and clearance divers from the Royal Canadian Navy are involved in Operation RENDER SAFE, with both land- and water-based teams working at Honiara and the Russell Islands.

They destroyed over three tonnes of munitions in the first two weeks of the operation.

Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Sergeant Morris Ale has spent the last few weeks with the Canadian team, helping engage with the local community to locate old munitions.

“All the community is very happy,” he said.

“They appreciate that the countries come and what we do together to render all the WWII munitions safe.”

Explosive ordnance experts from Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are also involved in the ongoing operation.

Sergeant Ale said the support from the international delegation helps the RSIPF’s explosive ordnance disposal capability.

“It helps us a lot because we don’t have enough logistics support to go to the other islands,” he said.

“But when the countries like Australia, New Zealand and Canada come in, they help us a lot with their ship like going over to Russell (Islands) and Tulaghi.

“It’s a good thing.”

Operation RENDER SAFE wraps up on October 7.

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