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ADF renders safe explosive task in Vanuatu

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THE Australian Defence Force (ADF) has responded rapidly to render safe explosive remnants of war at the request of the Vanuatu Government.

The unexploded ordnance were 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 C130J 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 Second World War 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 the enduring ADF-led commitment to our regional partners in the South West Pacific.

“The removal of unexploded ordnance improves safety for the local population through the elimination of risks from unstable and unsafe explosives,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said.

Australia’s assistance to Pacific Island Countries in disposing of unexploded remnants of war is focused on reducing the substantial threat while providing education and training to enhance their national security capability.

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No publication date: received by the Parl Library 11/12/2018