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.
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.