By 1Lt. Kristoffer Egeberg
First published in
SFOR Informer#108, March 7, 2001
Travnik - With a large flash of flames and smoke
followed by a thunderous burst, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has
rid another part of deadly weapons. At the same time, soldiers
from the newly developed EOD-branch in Romania build on their
experience. And since the project is closely tied to Operation
Harvest and civilian effort, it's truly one for the better.
years ago, the Netherlands and Romania signed a Memorandum of
Understanding including Dutch support to the Romanian Army to
develop their own EOD-branch within their engineers. Both countries
deal with a vast amount of deadly leftovers from World War II
some 55 years after it ended. But a vital part of the live training
goes on in SFOR, combining needy education with making BiH safer.
the Dutch Battle Group in Bugonjo one Dutch and one Romanian EOD
team live and work together, dealing with all kinds of EOD problems
in the Central Bosnia Canton 6.
Usually on every Saturday, we destroy items collected during
the week through Operation Harvest or special weapons collection
points. Besides this, we take care of unexploded items (UXO) found
or reported by civilians, says Capt. Daniel Dragoescu from
the Romanian EOD-team.
This Saturday the load is only 39 rifle-grenades,
11 hand-grenades, three 100-mm. tank-grenades, an M57 rifle and
1300 rounds of small-arms ammunition.
and bad weather hindered the collection this week. Normally it's
a lot more. Also reports on UXO's are weather-dependent. We are
just waiting for better weather when people start digging in their
gardens and fields. Spring and autumn is especially hectic periods
for us, says Dutch EOD Technical adviser for the Romanian
team WO1 Frans Ramachers.
The Dutch and Romanians work closely with Canton 6's local Civil
Protection Team, which also deal with UXO disposal. Team-leader
Viktor Kristo has brought with him a kit of advanced shaped charges,
which are designed to dispose of UXO's with a minimum charge of
explosives. This lowers the risk of high ordnance,
meaning fragmentation during the demolition.
This is a special demonstration for today, says Kristo
as he sets up a charge on a collected Rocket Propelled Grenade
(RPG), using a laser to aim the charge. The Dutch and Romanians
watch closely with interest, always looking for safer and more
efficient ways of demolishing UXO's.
Safety is the most important thing. In the EOD-business
we treat everyone the same and watch out for each other, regardless
of rank. And we take our time. No running or hurrying, says
Dutch EOD-Team member Staff Sgt. Hans Molenaar.
co-operation with the Dutch EOD-team is very good. They are skilful
teachers, and always merry but serious when they work with explosives.
EOD is quite new for us in the Romanian Army. Up until now, we
have also had civilian teams taking care of UXO's. Now we are
building up our own branch, says Capt. Dragoescu.
In SFOR the team faces a lot of challenges in their field, gaining
experience to bring home.
time the task is different, with different measures of protection.
The most normal UXO's we deal with is hand- and rifle-grenades,
but also mortar grenades and bombs, he says.
And every Saturday they have a new load of collected items to
blow up. Gaining more knowledge, maybe saving lives and making
Canton 6 and BiH a safer place to live in.
Nations of SFOR: Netherland,
SFOR at Work
Training and Exercises