Explosive ordnance disposal

Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) is the term used to describe the recovery and disposal of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) including abandoned and unexploded ordnance such as bombs, shells, grenades and cluster munitions.

We start by locating and identifying the ordnance and then evaluating the hazard it presents to the local civilian population. Once this is known, we take action to mitigate risk by rendering the item safe. If this is not possible, we ensure safe disposal through neutralization or demolition.              

ERW - location and risk

Drawing on nearly three decades of experience, HALO’s teams have developed specialist approaches to dealing with these remnants of war, subject to the location and situation in which they are found.

ERW are often to be found in military or police depots, strewn on and below the surface of the ground on former battle fields and, most alarmingly, in the family homes of the local civilians.

These hazardous items are often viewed by poor communities as a source of income; they may be sold for scrap or for their explosive content. The explosives are often used for fishing or to remove tree stumps to free up land for farming.

Due to the perceived benefit of gathering and storing these hazardous items, the owners are often reluctant to surrender them for disposal.  Our experience of working with communities post-conflict has given us a deep understanding of the risks people will take in these situations and their motivations for doing so.

The above video is of a 2000lb air dropped bomb being destroyed in Laos

MANAGING THE RISK OF UXO

We have developed strategies that sensitise communities to the hazards of the explosive items by highlighting the potentially devastating impact of an unplanned explosive event.  

We work with development organisations to encourage livelihood projects that will generate alternative sources of income in the most affected communities.

In addition to Explosive Ordnance Disposal, we conduct Battle Area Clearance and risk assessments on ammunition storage facilities.

BATTLE AREA CLEARANCE

We conduct Battle Area Clearance (BAC) in a number of countries including SomalilandGeorgia and Laos calls for a different approach because most of the items located are likely to be in an armed condition. This places our operators at greater risk. 

We use sophisticated detectors and large armoured industrial plant machines to limit the risk.

AMMUNITION STORAGE INSPECTIONS

Our EOD teams also provide assistance to national authorities. We inspect ammunition storage facilities to identify those items most likely to cause an accidental detonation. We then remove and destroy these items.

In the fragile states within which HALO operates, the explosive facilities are all too often located in highly populated areas. Our expert teams destroy the most hazardous items and provide assistance to segregate ammunition. This reduces the risk of an unplanned explosive event which would almost certainly result in loss of life.