The Australian Defence Force recently responded to an urgent request from the Vanuatu government to to destroy explosive remnants of war.
CAPTION: Explosive-ordnance-disposal specialists from the Vanuatu Mobile Force and the Australian Army prepare to destroy WWII ordnance in Vanuatu.
Unexploded ordnance was discovered recently in a residential area at Malapoa Estate, Port Vila, Vanuatu.
Following initial assessment by Vanuatu Mobile Force’s (VMF) Explosive Specialists, the ADF deployed an explosive-ordnance-disposal team and medical support specialists via Royal Australian Air Force C-130J to assist completing disposal tasks in coordination with Vanuatu security forces, from 6 to 11 December.
Chief of Joint Operations Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld said the Australian Army’s 20 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron assisted the VMF dispose of the World War Two ordinance in a safe location on Efat Island, Vanuatu.
“The disposed items comprised 12 75mm high-explosive artillery rounds and a mixture of Second World War munitions including ball ammunition and grenades,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said.
“Although 73 years have passed since the end of the Second World War, the threat of unexploded ordnance remains for south-west Pacific nations, and we continue to work closely with our neighbours to manage and remove these potential dangers.
“Operation Render Safe is an ADF-led commitment to our regional partners.
“The removal of unexploded ordnance improves safety for the local population through the elimination of risks from unstable and unsafe explosives.”
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