Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Munitions at Bagram Air Field range killing, maiming villagers

Next to U.S. firing range in Afghanistan, a village of victims

The Washington Post May 26, 2012

BAGRAM, AFGHANISTAN — The American grenade that nearly killed 10-year-old Shah Mohammed landed on an unmarked firing range in a scrubby desert, in the shadow of the largest U.S. military base in the country.

Like hundreds of other U.S. explosives fired here, it was supposed to detonate on impact. Like hundreds of others, it didn’t

It remained unexploded until Mohammed stumbled upon the ordnance while looking for scrap metal this month. He had nearly gathered enough shrapnel and bullet shells to trade for an ice cream cone. Then the 40mm grenade tore through the boy’s 87-pound body, breaking through bone and tendon and nerve. When Mohammed’s father, Shahzad Gul, found his son, he thought to himself: “All of his blood is gone.”

 

On the periphery of Bagram Airfield, farmers, scrap-metal collectors and sheep herders have been crippled, blinded and burned by U.S. military ammunition on an unfenced and poorly marked training ground. Called the East River Range, the training ground is blanketed with unexploded U.S. ordnance that was dropped from helicopters and fired from vehicles as part of battlefield rehearsals.

 

There is no barrier between nearby villages and the range — it is unclear where the dusty townships end and the vast military training area begins. The only apparent warnings are scrawled in faded, barely decipherable English lettering on concrete blocks: “Small Arms Range” and “Weapon Range.” There is no translation in Dari or Pashto, the two most common languages in Afghanistan.

Please see the original and read more here


May 27, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Improvised Explosive Devices, UXO | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. touts success at Iraq demining

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (UPI) — U.S.-led efforts in Iraq have cleared more than 190 million square feet of land from unexploded ordnance, the U.S. State Department said.

The State Department said Iraq is near the top when it comes to nations plagued with land mines and unexploded ordnance. Most of those, the department said, are the consequence of more than 30 years of conflict and the 1980s war between Iran and Iraq.

In 2010, the U.S. government spent nearly $25 million to destroy conventional weapons scattered across the country.

The United Nations, however, estimates that there are 20 million land mines scattered across Iraq, with many of those contaminating agricultural land.

The State Department said it cleared more than 190 million square feet of land from land mines and unexploded ordnance, though parts of the country are still riddled with the weapons.

There are nearly a dozen national and international agencies, including the U.S. government, working to get rid of conventional munitions in Iraq.

“Despite progress, much work remains ahead,” the State Department said.  Please see the original here

December 9, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Demining, ERW, Iraq, State Department | , , , , , | Leave a comment