By 1st Lt. Kristoffer Egeberg
First published in
SFOR Informer#113, May 16, 2001
Using mine-detecting dogs increases the efficiency
of de-mining considerably.
- Combining flails, manual de-miners and dogs (integrated de-mining)
in the Armed Forces in BiH is something SFOR has worked for in
co-operation with the armies themselves, contributing countries
and contracted non-governmental organizations. Speeding up the
process is essential for the return of displaced persons and refugees
as well as for the economic stabilisation by clearing valuable
"The most important is that we now know that the integrated
de-mining process works. This is really the first season to test
it out, as the first trained dogs now are working in minefields,"
said Lt. Col. David Jones (UK), SFOR chief countermines and Explosive
of Mostar, in Podvenica, the Federation army is successfully making
use of their four-legged sappers. The two dogs clear between 800
and 900 square metres a day, something a manual team would need
20 days to do.
"Since March 19, 30,000 square metres has been cleared in
this field. Ironically, the good weather causes some problems,
as the dogs can't work when the temperature is over 30 degrees
Celsius. Therefore we start at five o'clock in the morning to
avoid the worst heat," said German mine-monitor Warrant Officer
2 Michael Breuer.
Human de-miners are not allowed to work longer than six hours
a day. Concentration is of paramount importance when you work
in a mine-contaminated environment.
Last year the Armed Forces in BiH cleared 800,000 square metres
of mines. With the mine-detecting dogs in service, it is hoped
that 3,000,000 square metres will be cleared this year.
Engineering - Mines
SFOR at Work