Operations in Cambodia are run from our Regional Office in Phnom Penh. The GWHF Applied Technology Training Center (ATTC) is located in Kampong Chhnang, a province north of Phnom Penh. We share grounds with the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) Technical Institute of Mine Action, and the highly acclaimed Explosive Harvesting Program (EHP) production facility. Also based in Kampong Chhnang is the CMAC Salvage Dive team.
This top of the range facility has produced some of our most ground-breaking innovations, including the Explosive Harvesting System and our Mobile Cutting System. It is also where we turn old bombs into inert training aids – a critical tool for organizations teaching de-mining and UXO disposal.
The Golden West Design Lab (D-Lab) in Phnom Penh creates new technologies for humanitarian explosive ordnance disposal. In 2016, the D-Lab launched the award winning Advanced Ordnance Teaching Materials (AOTM) product and continues to develop new tech in the EOD training space with mixed reality and advanced ordnance data solutions.
Golden West runs and supports various programs in Hanoi and within the Provinces in central Vietnam which are at the highest risk from unexploded ordnance and natural disasters. The Country office is located in Hanoi with operational support locations in Dong Hoi, Dong Ha, and Ha Tinh. The project operations provide IMAS EOD training courses with the added value and impact of in-the-field mentoring to the Provincial Military Commands of the 3 most affected provinces, and our local partner, Peace Trees Vietnam. The IMAS EOD Training Program is fully supported by USDoS PM/WRA. Golden West also coordinates and advices closely to the Vietnam Mine Action Centre (VNMAC) on Technology and Training issues. We have supported the Vietnam Peace Keeping Centre (VNPKC) with a number of short training initiatives and seminars. The organization is also fully engaged in assisting the US Military to Military Humanitarian Mine Action Program to VNMAC.
The Swim for Life program is based in Quang Binh, a province that is greatly affected by annual natural disasters. The program focuses on drowning prevention through a combination of learning to swim, water safety education and community awareness focusing on key catchment areas of school children. The program is closely coordinated with the local authorities and Golden West continues to assist in advocacy and policy research at Ministerial level. The drowning epidemic claims nearly 10 children’s life every day in Vietnam. The program is funded through the Golden West Foundation and private donors. To learn more about that program and if you would like to financially support our work in that arena please check its website.
Vietnam also saw multiple distributions of our children’s MRE book “Vinh and Trinh’s Adventure”, an illustrated story highlighting the dangers of UXO scrap collection. Over 6000 copies have been distributed by Golden West to schoolchildren in Central Vietnam.
United States of America
The GWHF headquarters are located in the United States of America, in Woodland Hills, California. The US office serves as an administrative hub for the Foundation. To keep overheads low, the offices are just large enough to accommodate two full-time staff: the President and Founder of the GWHF, Joe Trocino, and the Chief Operations Officer, Mike Trocino. Other activities carried out at the headquarters include providing logistical support for field operations, and hosting delegations from other organizations.
In 2011, Golden West provided expertise and equipment to a reef reclamation project off the shores of Oahu, Hawaii. This operation required mounting a mobile cutting system on a demilitarized barge. Remotely Operated underwater Vehicles (ROV) extracted ERW that had become encrusted with coral. This was an ocean based operation that required innovation on site to counter specific issues arising from operating on water.
Our team is in the process of creating a central UXO training facility for the South Pacific Islands with a fully trained local cadre equipped to dispose of the WWII munitions in the region.
The Guadalcanal project commenced in May 2011 with the support of the US Department of State and the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) with the main goal being to work with the Solomon Islands Police Force to train and mentor their Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team to CEN/ IMAS Level II. It is now recognised as one of the premier EOD programs in the South Pacific.
To read more about the progress of the training see this article
A Golden West team deployed to the remote island of Mili on the Marshall Islands in July 2013. The team included two disposal technicians from the Solomon Islands who had recently been trained by Golden West advisors, giving them the opportunity to gain some experience in the field. Locals on the island identified areas that they suspected contained ERW and the team set to work. Making use of proprietary portable remediation equipment, including a mobile bomb cutting system, the Golden West team were able to process and burn out all ERW on the island.
Ten Nicaraguan military personnel had been assigned the task of clearing a stockpile of cluster munitions, but did not have the required skill set or resources to dispose of the ERW that were located in difficult terrain. Golden West delivered portable solutions and developed the local capacity to find and destroy ERW using innovative detection technologies and NMD™ explosive. We also provided a technical advisor to oversee the entire clearance operation.
Golden West training staff tutored 14 Colombian engineers towards an NMD™ training certification, enabling them to make effective use of this clearance explosive.