Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

U.S. Urged to Increase Bomb-Clearing Aid for Laos

WASHINGTON  Inter Press Service  July 10, 2012

Disarmament activists and former U.S. ambassadors are urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to increase U.S. aid to Laos to clear millions of tonnes of unexploded ordinance (UXO) left by U.S. bombers on its territory during the Indochina War during her brief visit to the country Wednesday.

The visit, scheduled to last only a few hours on a hectic eight-nation tour by Clinton designed in part to underline the Barack Obama administration’s “pivot” from the Middle East to Asia, will nonetheless be historic. No sitting U.S. secretary of state has visited Laos since 1955.

Sources here said Clinton is considering a 100-million-dollar aid commitment to support bomb-clearing efforts over a 10-year period. Such a commitment would more than double the nearly 47 million dollars Washington has provided in UXO assistance since 1997 when it first began funding UXO programmes in Laos.

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July 10, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Humanitarian Assistance, State Department, UXO | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Death Illustrates Issues With Loose Weapons Stockpiles in Libya

The New York Times  June 13, 2012

The death of an Estonian explosive ordnance disposal technician in Libya this spring illustrates the continuing problem of loose weapons stockpiles almost a year after Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi was driven from power.

The technician, Kaido Keerdo, died in March while examining unexploded munitions scattered near a police compound and checkpoint in Ad Dafniyah as part of his work for the nongovernmental group Danish Church Aid.

The checkpoint had been fought over by rival Libyan militias three nights before. The groups were quarreling over access to 22 shipping containers of Qaddafi-era munitions, according to the aid group’s investigation, the findings of which were described this week to The New York Times.

One of the containers was struck during the fighting and caught fire. The explosion that followed ruptured at least 11 containers, heaving into the air a poorly stored collection of grenades, rockets and mortar rounds, some of which landed almost 500 yards away.

The munitions, once seen by Libya’s armed groups as instruments for breaking free from internal repression and making the country safe, were then scattered near houses, a mosque and a school along Libya’s main coastal road. The inadequately trained militias and ad hoc police officers had stored rockets and shells with fuzes inserted, a configuration that compounded their dangers.

Among this refuse were 122-millimeter rockets containing Type 84 land mines, one of the most volatile weapons in Libya’s prewar stocks. Mr. Keerdo, a demining team leader, was surveying the police compound and apparently knelt near one of these rockets. At least one mine exploded, killing him instantly.

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June 15, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Libya, NGO's, Safety and Security Issues, United Nations, UXO | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ronco Consulting named in Contractor Lawsuit for EEOC violations

Ronco Consulting was named in the Defense Base Act Class Action Lawsuit against Defense Base Act Insurance Companies and some Overseas Civilian Contractor Companies.

The EEOC granted a former Ronco Consulting Employee and American Injured War Zone Contractor the Right to Sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act after investigating the complaint.

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities.

Even those who were disabled due to the negligence of the company in question.

May 22, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, Government Contractor, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, Taxes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All-clear for West Runton’s Links Country Park Hotel after bomb squad remove mortar

Bomb disposal experts safely removed an unexploded wartime device from the golf course of a north Norfolk hotel this morning after an all-night police vigil at the site.

EDP 24  February 10, 2012

A Colchester-based bomb squad arrived at first light to examine the live bomb, discovered by a workman yesterday afternoon at West Runton’s Links Country Park Hotel.

Experts X-rayed it twice before identifying it as a two-inch second world war mortar, according to Marc Mackenzie, director of Links owners Mackenzie Hotels.

They then took the bomb back to Colchester where Mr Mackenzie understood it would be destroyed by a civilian contractor.

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February 10, 2012 Posted by | ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Major, the demining dog, dies after saving more than 200 lives

He was hailed a hero after sniffing out more than 250 bombs in Africa and the Middle East, saving countless lives.

“he displayed impeccable manners and rarely disgraced himself in the bar”

The Telegraph  January 10, 2012

But Major, a British-born demining dog, was being mourned last night having been put down after 15 years of faithful service.

The black Labrador was described as an “extremely friendly and loyal friend” by his owner, John Dingley, a senior technical adviser for the United Nations Mine Action Service.

He said Major, whose full name was Major Kipper-Ridge, held the record for the number of mines detected in Somalia.

He was responsible for detecting 67 Pakistani P4 anti-personnel mines which are notoriously difficult to locate by metal detectors and are particularly hazardous to clear.

He also located more than 100 UXO, or unexploded ordnance mines, and 17 anti tank landmines

In 2006, he detected 53 cluster bombs during an emergency tour in Lebanon at the height of the conflict with Israel.

Even in retirement, Major did an “admirable” job as a guard dog, once preventing a robbery in Nairobi.

Mr Dingley, 46, from Draycott, Somerset, paid a fond tribute to his four-legged friend, whose working life was “nothing short of extraordinary”.

He said his incredible success saved more than 200 lives.

Major was born in March 1997 in Wigan. Although little is know about his early life, Mr Dingley said he was obviously from a well-bred family with good manners and a tremendous sense of fun.

Please read the entire story here

 

January 10, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Improvised Explosive Devices, Landmines, Mine Clearance, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lanka’s half million mines will take a decade to clear

Reuters/Mannar The Gulf Times    September 21, 2010

Post-war Sri Lanka will need another decade to clear the half million landmines which lie buried under swathes of agricultural and forest land and around villages in the north of the island nation, the head of a demining group said.
The country is in its third year of peace after government forces defeated the separatist Tamil Tigers in a civil war which lasted a quarter of a century, killing and injuring tens of thousands of people.
But as people who fled the fighting return home to rebuild their lives, they still face the threat of anti-personnel mines and unexploded ordnance (UXOs) like bombs, rockets and hand grenades left behind by the Tamil Tigers and Sri Lankan army.
“Based on our current clearance rates, there are perhaps half a million landmines that need to be cleared,” said Nigel Robinson, country head of the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD), which has cleared 60,000 mines
since 2002.
“So it’ll perhaps take 10 years for Sri Lanka to become fully mine-impact free, assuming the current capacity of de-miners can be maintained,” he told Reuters in an interview from a clearing in a minefield in the northwest district of
Mannar.
The FSD has 750 de-miners clearing the mines, aided by other specialist groups. There are no official figures on exactly how many mines and UXOs were used during the war, although some reports suggest more than a million mines were planted during the 25 years

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September 22, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Demining, Humanitarian Assistance, NGO's, Sri Lanka | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ronco Consulting sued for negligence by United Nations Mine Action Employee

Careful who you follow….

Fartham vs Ronco Consulting

A United Nations Mine Action Employee has filed a lawsuit against Ronco Consulting Corporation for negligence after stepping on a landmine resulting in an immediate below the knee amputation in an area previously cleared by and certified clear of landmines by Ronco Consulting.

The United Nations board of inquiry found that Ronco failed to find the mine that injured Mr Fartham as well as three other mines.

The complaint states that Ronco Consulting, acting through it’s agents and/or employee’s, breached it’s professional duty of care to Fantham and did not exercise the reasonable care and skill expected of professional mine clearance companies.

Fartham vs Ronco Consulting

June 7, 2011 Posted by | Africa, ArmorGroup, Civilian Casualties, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Landmines, Legal Jurisdictions, Ronco, Safety and Security Issues, State Department, Sudan, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

LIBYA: Looming threat of scattered munitions in the east

IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis

CAIRO, 16 May 2011 (IRIN) – There is so much ammunition and unexploded ordnance (UXO) scattered across eastern Libya that local people will face a serious threat when they return home. However, it is difficult to determine the exact quantities because of ongoing fighting, experts say.

“In Tabrouk and Benghazi there are munition bunkers that were destroyed by [government] forces prior to the establishment of the no-fly zone,” Tekimiti Gilbert, spokesman for the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), said. “Gaddafi’s forces bombed the bunkers to deprive rebels of weapons. As a result, a lot of ammunition is spread across a wide area on the surface of the ground.

“Because there was access to bunkers, local people are scavenging for scrap metal for re-sale and also explosives which can be used for fishing,” he told IRIN.

UNMAS is working with the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Libyan Red Cross and other partners to try to contain the problem. “In Ajdabiya, clearance of UXO in the city has started,” Gilbert said. “But we have a situation of people scavenging inside insecure munition bunkers and large areas to cover.

“One area can be made up of between 10-50 individual bunkers, which could cover an area of approximately 20 football fields.”

Photo UNMAS Unwelcome guest: A UXO on a kitchen floor in an apartment in Adjabiya

UXO, including rockets, shells and mortars, are strewn across public places and residential areas in Misrata, Ajdabiya and Benghazi, according to the ICRC. In Ajdabiya, a threat exists from unexploded devices around and even inside houses.

Local populations have also accessed munitions that were stored in army bases in Ajdabiya, Benghazi and Tobruk, before they were abandoned in early March. Some of the stores exploded, scattering the munitions over vast areas. UXO has also been found in destroyed armoured fighting vehicles, truck-mounted rocket launchers and other military vehicles.

In mid-April, UXO was found in three homes in Ajdabiya, including remnants of a BM-21 rocket embedded in the wall. More was found in other homes. Ten large bombs and 18 smaller missiles were destroyed around Benghazi.

The situation, according to UNMAS, is under-reported because most areas of contamination are in battle zones and cannot be reached.

“There is no immediate visual impact because inhabitants of towns inside battle zones have evacuated eastwards to Benghazi,” Gilbert said. “Ajdabiya, etc, are fairly empty. The issue is when displaced people return to their homes where they will be confronted with the risk of unexploded ordnance.

Fighter jet defused

“MAG [Mine Action Group] were tasked with a fighter jet that crash-landed 40km east of Benghazi, but still had live ammunition and weapons attached to the aircraft,” Gilbert said. “With assistance from the National Military Council, medics cordoned off the area to allow the demolition of the weapons on the aircraft. MAG also worked on a government fighter jet that went down near Benghazi.”

MAG is working alongside the Swiss Demining Group, DanChurchAid and the ICRC. “The effort will be extended to conflict-torn Misrata in the near future,” said Herby Elmazi, ICRC operational clearance delegate. In Ajdabiya, the ICRC is working inside the city to clear abandoned ammunition and UXO before most people return, while Handicap International has partnered with the Scout Movement to undertake education through outreach teams.

Since conflict broke out in Libya in mid-February, various reports have emerged of the use of anti-vehicle mines, anti-personnel mines, cluster munitions and other ordnance by both sides to the conflict. The government of Libya is not a signatory to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty nor the Convention on Cluster munitions.

The National Transitional Council, which controls the east, has directed that “no forces under [its] command and control will use anti-personnel or anti-vehicle landmines”.

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May 16, 2011 Posted by | Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Libya, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RELYANT gets demining contract

UPDATED

Relyant is only one of several companies who were awarded this IDIQ Contract though it does not say so here.

Formerly Critical Mission  Support Services

UPI Published: June 21, 2010 at 5:27 PM
MARYVILLE, Tenn., June 21 (UPI) — RELYANT LLC, a Tennessee firm providing strategic support services, won a contract (USACE) to help with mine clearance and unexploded ordnance disposal in Afghanistan.
The company expects to hire 200 additional people to work in Afghanistan and at its headquarters as a result of the award, which is worth $49 million.

The contract, it said, has two 1-year renewal option periods following the initial 1-year base period.

The United Nations says there are more than 10 million land mines and other explosive items littering Afghanistan, many of them from the period of Soviet occupation in the 1980s and the guerrilla war against the Soviets.

“RELYANT’s work under this contract will provide a safer environment for all stakeholders in the ongoing efforts to stabilize and rebuild the country,” the company said.

Other RELYANT services in Afghanistan include insulating troops housing on bases, escorting third-country nationals, life-support services for troops, convoy and secure trucking of supplies and vehicle maintenance.

In addition to offices in Tennessee, the company has presences in Iraq and Uganda  Original Here

Warning to prospective new employee’s and current as well:  If you are injured while working this contract your future will be in the hands of CNA the USACE’s DBA Insurance Company.  Your life will be a living hell.

June 21, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Contract Awards, Contracts Awarded, Demining | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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