Fire in the hole
By Cpl. Diego Buñuel
First published in
SFOR Informer #99, October 25, 2000
Kalinovik - Even in the sink hole paradise of this firing
range, the Italian engineers had to dig even deeper to prepare for the
destruction of more than 2,000 hand grenades, 200 artillery rounds, 60
mortar bombs and 250 kg of TNT, set to go up in smoke on October 17th.
is too much for just one pit," said Capt. Giuseppe Buono, in charge
of the UXO team which will work for four weeks to destroy some 60,000
pieces of ordinance. "We have to spread the charge or else it would
make a huge hole."
Captain. Stefano Venuti, helped by WO Angelo Conte, stacked dozens of
rust-covered hand made grenades over a pit that was already layered in
mortars rounds, sand bags, grenades and dirt.
The ordnance included some 'home-made' devices. They came in all shapes
and sizes, from pineapple grenades to massive foot-long chunks of steel
used as booby traps. Others were encased in plastic resin containing nails
and bolts, and many had different types of detonators.
"I am taking some detonators with me to use in classes on how to
disarm them," said Buono.
This unexploded ordinance was part of an important operation that aimed
at getting rid of stockpiles left in Entity Armed Forces (EAF) camps around
"Many of these grenade boxes had been left outside for the past two
years and they have rusted really bad," Buono said, pointing out
the mouldy boxes. "They (the EAF) had to work together with us to
bring this convoy down here from Gorazde and that's really good."
Nations of SFOR: Italy
Mines and De-mining