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During the month of June, Golden West’s Vietnam Office provided logistics and coordination for the 3rd of 5 phases of the US PACOM Underwater Humanitarian Mine Action training program with the Vietnam People’s Navy(VPN) in Nha Trang conducted by the US Navy’s EOD MU5. Areas of training for this phase included Marine Search and Rescue, EOD Underwater Removal and Disposal, and treatment of dive medical issues along with technical hands on training for equipment donated to the VPN from PACOM. Golden West looks forward to continuing to provide support to this and other HMA trainings in Vietnam and Cambodia in the future.

Each year drowning claims the lives of over 372,000 people around the globe, more than 40 every hour. Although these death rates are two-thirds that of malnutrition and over half that of malaria, there is little being done to address this preventable epidemic. This gap creates an urgent need to address drowning as a public health issue through preventative measures. In Vietnam, it is estimated that 35 people lose their life to preventable drowning daily. Swim for Life Vietnam is a Golden West Humanitarian Foundation program that stays true to the overarching mission of ‘Saving lives,’ hence our commitment to making an impact in the important work of drowning prevention.

 In 2015, the program was started by working collaboratively with our local partners, specifically the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Education and Training, and two primary schools located in the north-central province of Quang Binh.  In its first year, we trained close to 500 primary school children to swim. We have now just re-opened our pools for the second season, and we anticipate over 430 children will take part in the program’s first course ending in mid-June.  We are on track for over 1,200 children to graduate from our program by the season’s end, and are looking to expand the program to include broad community awareness as well as water safety education in schools.  

We are able to do this life-saving work because of private donors like you.  For as little as an $11 recurring monthly donation, you can support a class of 6 students to participate in the program.  If you are interested in supporting the Swim for Life program or being a lead donor on our new programming, please click here to learn more or contact us today by sending mail to  swim (at) goldenwesthf.org.

Cambodia May 21st, 2015

The CMAC Salvage Dive Team successfully recovered a Mk-82 aircraft bomb, their first piece of ordnance recovered from Cambodian waterways. After the bomb was removed from river, the nose and tail fuze sections were removed on site with Golden West’s Mobile Cutting System. The defuzed bomb was then transported to the Explosive Harvesting Site in Kampong Chhnang where the explosive material will be recycled into 100g charges for use in humanitarian demining operations within Cambodia. The dive team from its inception in 2013 has been funded by the US State Department with training support from US PACCOM.

You can read more about the successful mission here:

UK International Business Times

VICE 

Phnom Penh Post – video

Cambodia Daily

Guardian

Huffington Post

Euronews

Anadolu Agency

VOA 

VOA Cambodia

RFI

Dawn

 

 

On March 10th 2015, the EHP (Explosive Harvesting Program) CMAC EOD operators responded to a UXO call at a construction site just outside the capital city of Phnom Penh, during which they recovered a 500 pound bomb. In a separate UXO call eight days later the CMAC Dive Team and EHP CMAC EOD operators responded to a call for a 1000 pound bomb found in a stream in the Kratie province. Directly following excavation, the fuze sections of the bombs were removed using the Mobile Cutting System developed by Golden West. The defused bombs were then transported to the USDoS PM/WRA funded Explosive Harvesting Site where the explosive filler will be recycled into humanitarian charges to be using in demining operations across Cambodia.

Golden West Humanitarian Foundation started working in Cambodia in 2004, by testing the viability of a new method of providing much needed humanitarian explosive charges from existing stockpile munitions. Ten years later and the outstanding cooperation from the Royal Government of Cambodia and Cambodia’s Humanitarian Mine Action Organizations has meant that the Explosive Harvesting Program not only provides all humanitarian demining charges in the country free of charge, but has also created a number of new programs that bring great benefits to the Cambodian people. This is similar to online casino lesson where you can learn to stop playing online casino games through best casino sites.

In recognition of the fantastic support offered by the Royal Cambodian Government and the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC), Golden West, in partnership with CMAC hosted a number of distinguished guests from the Cambodian Government, U.S Government and Mine Action Organizations for a gala dinner in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The evening showed recognition of the partnerships that enable the Explosive Harvesting Program to be the unparalleled success that it is, with great thanks to the donors that have made it all possible, the U.S Department of States Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) and the Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Research and Development (HDR&D).

In addition it introduced the delegates to Golden West’s other landmark programs including the CMAC Dive Unit, Detection Technologies, the Cambodia Design Lab and the new Royal Cambodian Armed Forces PSSM (Physical Security and Stockpile Management) Program.

Distinguished guests and speakers included:

  • His Excellency Serei Kosal, Senior Minister, Second Vice Chairman of the CMAA
  • His Excellency Nath Bunroeun, Deputy Minister of Education Youth and Sport
  • Her Excellency Julie Chung, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy Phnom Penh
  • His Excellency Heng Ratana, Director General of CMAC
  • His Excellency Khem Sopoan, Chairman of the Governing Council of CMAC
  • His Excellency Oum Phumro, Deputy Director General of CMAC
  • His Excellency Dr.Im Koch, Secretary of State for Ministry of Education Youth and Sport
  • Lieutenant General Son Kim Sorn, Deputy General Director of Materials and Technical, Royal Cambodian Armed Forces

Awards

Golden West presented 5 custom designed trophies to mark their gratitude for the cooperation and assistance of the following Cambodian and United States Government Organizations:

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Royal Cambodian Government
  • Embassy of the United States, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Cambodia Mine Action and Victims Assistance Authority (CMAA)
  • The United States Department of State, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA)
  • The Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC)
  • The Cambodian Ministry of National Defense

Golden West Humanitarian Foundation presented personal tokens of appreciation to the following CMAC leadership and staff:

  1. H.E. Heng Rattana, Director General of CMAC
  2. H.E. Om Phnumro, Deputy Director of CMAC
  3. H.E. Ek Bolin, Director of Support and Human Resources, CMAC
  4. H.E. Prum Suonpraseth, Director of International Relations and Project Management, CMAC
  5. Mr. Him Vandy, Director of Planning and Operations, CMAC
  6. Mr. Phat Phearak, Chief of Secretariat, CMAC
  7. Mr. Mong Sokunthearath, Manager of the Training Centre, CMAC

Framed Certificates were presented to Golden West and CMAC staff that had given notable service to the organization over the ten years:

  1. Thong Khean for Ten Years of Service to Cambodia Programs
  2. Heang Sambo for Ten Years of Service to Cambodia Programs
  3. Khun Chanmara for Ten Years of Service to Cambodia Programs
  4. Mao Sokhon for Ten Years of Service to Cambodia Programs
  5. Seurng Samnang for Ten Years of Service to Cambodia Programs
  6. Seang Chharann for Eight Years of Service to Cambodia Programs
  7. Chin Phal for Seven Years of Service to Cambodia Programs
  8. Sam Vicheth for Seven Years of Service to Cambodia Programs
  9. Chan Reaksmey for Six Years of Service to Cambodia Programs
  10. Phorn Theavy for Four Years of Service to Cambodia Programs

The Royal Cambodian Government Recognised the following parties with Orders of Merit:

  • Golden West Humanitarian Foundation: Royal Order of Sahametrei, Commander
  • Allan Vosburgh, CEO of Golden West Humanitarian Foundation: Royal Order of Sahametrei, Officer
  • Ms. Julie Chung, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy, Phnom Penh: Royal Order of Sahametrei, Commander
  • Colonel Stanley Brown, Director, Department of State, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement: Royal Order of Sahametrei, Commander
  • Roger Hess, Director of Field Operations, Golden West Humanitarian Foundation: Royal Order of Sahametrei, Commander
  • Allen Dodgson Tan, Country Director Cambodia, Golden West Humanitarian Foundation: Royal Order of Sahametrei, Commander
  • Leon Len Austin, Chief EOD Operations, Golden West Humanitarian Foundation: Royal Order of Sahametrei, Commander
  • Mike Trocino, Chief Financial Officer, Golden West Humanitarian Foundation: Royal Order of Sahametrei, Officer
  • John Arthur Wright, Chief Design Engineer, Golden West Humanitarian Foundation: Royal Order of Sahametrei, Officer
  • Sieng Charan, Explosive Harvesting Program, Cambodia Mine Action Center: Cambodia Labour Medal, Gold Medal
  • Sok Chenda, CMAC Dive Unit Leader, Cambodia Mine Action Center: Cambodia Labour Medal, Gold Medal
  • Khun Chanmara, Explosive Harvesting Program, Cambodia Mine Action Center: Cambodia Labour Medal, Gold Medal
  • Moav Sokhon, Explosive Harvesting Program, Cambodia Mine Action Center: Cambodia Labour Medal, Gold Medal
  • Soeung Samnang, Explosive Harvesting Program, Cambodia Mine Action Center: Cambodia Labour Medal, Gold Medal
  • Sam Vichet, Explosive Harvesting Program, Cambodia Mine Action Center: Cambodia Labour Medal, Gold Medal
  • Chin Phal, Explosive Harvesting Program, Cambodia Mine Action Center: Cambodia Labour Medal, Gold Medal

A contingent of six Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) EOD Officers, trained by Golden West Humanitarian Foundation Training team are to join and participate in Operation Render Safe 2014 in Torokina, Bouganville Island, Papua New Guinea. The RSIPF team was invited to assist after their well-received involvement in Operation Render Safe 2013, in the Solomon Islands.

Operation Render Safe  is the Australian Defence Force’s enduring explosive ordnance disposal contribution to the south-west Pacific region. This is similar to online casino lesson where you can learn to stop playing online casino games through best casino sites. The aim of Operation Render Safe is to reduce the threat of unexploded ordnance throughout the south-west Pacific, foster goodwill and support bilateral relations.

To read more on Operation Render Safe and the RSIPF EOD team:

Solomon Star Article on the RSIPF EOD team’s invitation to participate

History of the Golden West Guadalcanal RSIPF EOD Program

News Video by ABC on the RSIPF Involvement in Operation Render Safe 2013

Golden West’s Southeast Asia Regional Office & Design Lab in Cambodia is proud to have some longstanding Cambodian employees that have each been instrumental in making Golden West in Southeast Asia what it is today. All Golden West Cambodia’s employees are eligible for the employee scholarship program, that entitles them to embark on a higher education course of their choice.

Reaksmey Chan, Senior Accounting Manager for Asia Pacific, has been with Golden West for over 5 years and has had the opportunity to complete her bachelors in Accountancy and is currently completing her MBA in Phnom Penh.

Kim Bush has been with Golden West for one year and is currently completing his mechanical engineering degree. Bush has been working closely with John Wright, our Chief Design Engineer, to deliver the various projects associated with the Golden West Design Lab in Phnom Penh. The engineering team has also expanded recently, with Somnang Seng joining to assist Bush in the Design Lab. Bush has shown himself to be a very promising future engineer, spending his spare time researching advanced techniques that will furnish him with skills to improve processes and production at the Design Lab.

Digital Divide Data (DDD) is an organization dedicated to creating better futures for disadvantaged youth in Cambodia, Laos and Kenya through an innovative work/study program. This program encourages participants to gain the necessary skills for future employment through work and education. As part of this process, DDD provides inspirational lectures from Cambodian professionals across various fields and industries. This is similar to online casino lesson where you can learn to stop playing online casino games through best casino sites. Golden West was approached to provide accountancy and engineering talks and was more than happy to provide Reaksmey and Bush as great examples of their professions to talk about their experiences, education and about their professions in general.

Reaksmey and Bush both delivered talks that were well received and gave a good example of what the DDD group can aspire to if they choose those professions.

Golden-West-DDD2

At Golden West Humanitarian Foundation our technical staff each have over 20 years of EOD experience making them some of the most capable operators. This is all the more evident when they are confronted with abnormal conditions and situations. Under these circumstances, their expertise comes to the fore, enabling them to plan and execute complex operations to precision.

One such operation took place in the Solomon Islands, Guadalcanal, where Golden West Humanitarian Foundation has been working with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force to strengthen the Island’s national EOD reponse capacity. As well as shaping the EOD response team into a cohesive, skilled and experienced team, the Golden West Project Leaders attached to the unit have trained them to internationally recognized standards in EOD and advanced EOD techniques.

On the 15th May, a report was received of a M-43 500lb located in a remote area in Guadalcanal surrounded by cliffs and heavy vegetation with no clear route in with vehicles. After an initial reconaissance and a sitrep performed by the EOD team, planning could begin. On the 16th May, the team, equipped with appropriate equipment and pertinent top-up training from Golden West’s Director of Field Operations, Roger Hess, that highlighted potential conditions this particular ordnance could be in, the team set off to the ordnance. Due to deteriorating road state, the team travelled by foot for the last 4km through arduous terrain.

River cross 2a

Upon assessing the situation of the bomb, Roger Hess decided that it must be relocated to a safer area for disposal. The team then had to lift the bomb to a suitable area using a carrying sling. An appropriate area was located 100m from the location, which took 30minutes due to the uneven terrain. Once the bomb was in a place where the chance of injury to nearby villages was negated, Golden West Humanitarian Foundation’s proprietary NMD was set up to render it safe.

The mission was a complete success that tested the training and endurance of the RSIPF team. The RSIPF program is made possible through generous support from the US Department of State, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, AusAid and Japan Official Development Assistance.

Position 4a

Macca Selli and Bomb

The Marshall Islands saw conflict during World War II and still bear the scars and remnants of war from these battles. Set deep in the Northern Pacific and only accessible by long boat journeys, the majority of it’s atolls have been difficult to reach efficiently and within budget for ordnance clearance and remediation. Thanks to Golden West Humanitarian Foundation’s extensive research and development program an affordable approach was available that could enable fast and effective removal of ordnance on some of the most contaminated atolls.

July 2013 saw a Golden West Humanitarian Foundation team deploy to two atolls; Mili and Maloelap in the Marshall Islands. The team was led by Len Austin, the Chief of EOD Operations with Golden West. Joining him were members from two Golden West trained teams: the Cambodian CMAC/Golden West EOD specialists and selected members of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force EOD team. Each of the team members were highly skilled and experienced, having undergone years of training with Golden West’s team of training staff.

Joining the teams was the Golden West designed “Island Hopper Package”, specifically designed to enable teams to easily move from island to island with the specific tools they need. The Island Hopper consists of transport and logistics tools, ordnance remediation and cutting tools and everything the teams need to operate effectively on these islands.

Golden West Marshall Islands-6

The operation followed an earlier survey conducted by Len Austin that identified the areas that could use the specialist assistance of the team. The survey and subsequent planning ensured that the operation was a success- the team worked diligently in many different environments, managing to locate and destroy many pieces of ordnance. Overall, the team located and made safe close to 200 ordnance items, many of which were of a very large size, up to over 600lb.

Golden West Marshall Islands-16

Thanks to the funding of the U.S Department of State, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM-WRA), Golden West Humanitarian Foundation was able to make the Islands of Mili and Taroa safer places for its inhabitants.

Further Information

Golden West Humanitarian Foundations unique projects were featured in two recent DIPNote (Department of State official blog) entries. The first referred to our Golden West Design Lab and its unique work to improve the standard and portability of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training aids around the world. This project was exhibited at the USA Science and Engineering Fair in the US Department of State exhibit. To learn more about this project visit the AOTM website or read the DIPnote entry.

The next Golden West Cambodia project to be profiled is the unique Explosive Harvesting Program. Based in Kampong Chnang, Cambodia, the Explosive Harvesting Program takes surplus and unexploded ordnance and processes it to produce explosive charges that are custom designed to destroy landmines. These humanitarian demining charges are distributed free of charge to Humanitarian Mine Action Organisations around Cambodia. To date, over 300,000 of these charges have been produced and used in the field.

The final project to be highlighted was the CMAC Dive Unit and its recent dive unit opening. The Cambodia Mine Action Centre dive unit will be an important national asset, providing Underwater Ordnance Remediation capabilities across the country and region. For more information about the EHP click here, about the Dive team, click here and to read the DIPnote entry about these projects click here