Clearing the Remnants of War
On December 3, ceremonies were held near Honiara, Solomon Islands to mark the successful completion of this year’s Operation RENDER SAFE, the biannual Australian-led operation to reduce the threat of unexploded Second World War ordnance in the South Pacific.
Ten members of the Canadian Armed Forces participated in Operation RENDER SAFE 2013 in the Solomon Islands, alongside more than 200 personnel from the Australian Defence Force, New Zealand Defence Force, U.S. Navy and the Solomon Island Constabulary. Canadian participation included four clearance divers from the Royal Canadian Navy, two Combat Engineers from the Canadian Army, two specialists from the Royal Canadian Air Force along with a Liaison Officer and a Staff Officer who served as the Task Force Commander.
“The Canadian Armed Forces have some of the most capable, highly trained, and experienced Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams in the world,” said The Hon. Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence. “We can be proud knowing that their efforts in the Solomon Islands will save lives for many years to come.”
The Solomon Islands saw heavy fighting during the Second World War, which included air bombardment, naval gunfire support and artillery barrages. The Islands were later used as support and ammunition bases, and as a result, to this day, a great deal of unexploded ordnance still litters many of the islands and surrounding waters.
Operation RENDER SAFE 2013 ran from November 11 until December 3, and succeeded in clearing more than 12,164 items of unexploded ordnance.
Explosive ordnance ready for disposal at a Royal Solomon Islands Police