MATT pilot project
SLt. Meghan Marsaw
First published in
SFOR Informer#156, January 23, 2003
Multinational Brigade North-West (MNB-NW) Mine Awareness
Cell has been providing Mine Awareness Training (MAT) to children
in schools as well as to military personnel in Bosnia and
Herzegovina (BiH) for many years. A gaphas been identified
however, when it comes to the general population. As a result,
MNB NW tested a Mine Awareness Mobile Stand to disseminate
information concerning the risk of landmines and unexploded
Banja Luka - The purpose of this MAT stand was to educate
directly to the local population the threat posed by mines
and UXO left over from the war, in order to reduce the risk
of injury, said Lt. Mike Treffry-Kingdom, MNB-NW Mine
Cell Officer. The site also promoted other SFOR information.
One of the most mined areas
The location of this first mobile stand was in the town centre
in Bihac. It was intended to target passers by, including
children, to come to the stand and look at the displays,
Bihac used to be one of the most mined areas in BiH,
said Sgt. Ryan Mitchell, a mine monitor with the National
Command Element in Sipovo, who headed the manning of the stand.
About 500 people came through the stand during the four
days it was set up.
The stand consisted of an extensive display of common land
mines and UXOs found in BiH as well as numerous handouts,
including mine maps, literature, and information on all MNB-NW
mine cells in the area. The stand also had a UXO pit built
nearby. In total, one M80 Rocket Launcher and 22 hand grenades
were handed in at the Mine Awareness Mobile Stand.
Focus on the adult population
We are continuing our winter campaign in the schools
and with the local military forces, said Mitchell. With
this stand, we are trying to focus on the adult population.
An important aspect of the stand was to educate the adults
on the locations and contact information for Mine Cells in
their area. We tell the adults not to ignore any UXOs,
weapons, or mines but to inform the Mine Cells so that these
items can be picked up and disposed of safely, said
Cpl. Georges Russell of the Royal Scots.
We are testing the feasibility for conducting MAT directly
to the general public in order to close the gap currently
left by MAT only being delivered to children of school age,
said Treffry-Kingdom. Success with this pilot project
could provide a role model for future MAT in all current and
future theatres of operations.
Engineering - Mines
Nations of SFOR: UK