Solomons Police To Assist With Ordnance Disposal In Bougainville

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Operation RENDER SAFE lead by Australian Defence Force

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 12, 2014) – A team of six personnel from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit will participate in Operation RENDER SAFE 2014 from October to November in Bougainville.

"The Australian Defence Force has been conducting explosive ordnance disposal in the South West Pacific and helping to build national capabilities in this area for many years in order to help countries in our region address the enduring problem of World War II ordnance," said Australian Defence Advisor Lieutenant Colonel Watson.

Warrant Officer Craig Bird, has been working closely with the team over the last two years.

"In 2013, Operation RENDER SAFE was successfully conducted in Solomon Islands. During the operation, more than 12,000 items of unexploded remnants of war were located and disposed of safely over a three week period," he said.

This year, Operation RENDER SAFE will be conducted in Torokina, Bougainville.

The six RSIPF personnel will be working alongside the Australian Defence Force, New Zealand Defence Force, Canadian Armed Forces, British Army and the United States Navy and United States Marines.

RSIPF participation in the operation will demonstrate the RSIPF’s explosive ordnance disposal capability and skills.

These skills have been developed as a result of an Australian and United States partnership.

Paul Eldred, of Golden West Humanitarian Foundation (an NGO sponsored by the United States) works full time with the RSIPF Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit and has provided expert training and mentorship.

The departing RSIPF Explosive Ordnance Disposal team was farewelled by Chief Superintendent Gabriel Manelusi, Mr Paul Eldred (Golden West Humanitarian Foundation) and Lieutenant Colonel Richard Watson, Australian Defence Advisor to the South West Pacific.

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