By Sgt. Michael Maddox
First published in
SFOR Informer #93, August
- Before turning the engineer mission at the Sarajevo Airport
back over to local officials, French engineers stationed
at the airport have been clearing the area of unexploded
Their efforts culminated in the mass destruction of all
of the UXOs July 14. More than 10 kilos of explosives were
destroyed just on the far end of the airport grounds.
This mission is one of the last for the French engineers
at the airport, said French 1st Lt. Cedric Fayeaux of the
25th Air Force Engineer Regiment. The team consists of 17
men, of which four are EOD personnel and the rest are construction
is the first goal for us to destroy the UXOs, afterwards,
we do not know for certain when we will hand over the airport
duties," he said. "This is the last detachment
of engineers in the airport, afterwards, there will be no
engineer detachments in the airport. We are to clean the
area before we go in the middle of August."
During the clean-up, the team found quite a large amount
of UXOs in the area.
"We found the munitions in the embankments around the
airport," said Fayeaux. "We found land mines,
grenades, rockets and 30mm and 120mm rounds. There were
lots of different types of munitions."
After the UXOs were collected, they were then ready to be
"The hole that we put the explosives in is two meters
deep. We used four kilos of explosive to destroy all of
the munitions. We cover that with earth, make the explosion
and go see what is left," he explained.
During the destruction, it is key to make sure the job is
done properly, said Sgt. Maj. Berhard Gailhard who has been
working with explosives since 1984.
"It's important to make sure you have the explosives
placed correctly to destroy every munition," he said.
"There can be no mistakes in that."
And thanks to the careful work of the engineers, there were
no mistakes during this mission and all of the munitions