PHOTO: Royal Australian Navy copyright. 017 - Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Clearance Divers and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Armament Technicians with the assistance of PNG Defence Force members, Royal NZ Navy and NZ Army personnel, empty a WWII Japanese Tunnel of almost 100 Type 92 15cm High Explosive Projectiles as part of Operation RENDER SAFE 2011.
3 November 2011
The NZ, Australian and Papua New Guinea Defence Forces have been making Rabaul in Papua New Guinea a safer place by disposing of WWII remnants of war.
A NZ Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team and a Royal NZ Navy Operational Diving Team have helped to safely dispose of a range of WWII ordnance including unexploded bombs, shells, mortars, grenades and torpedoes.
Following HMNZS RESOLUTION’s survey of Rabaul Harbour numerous wrecks of ships and aircraft were located along with vast amounts of ordnance both on the sea bed and ashore.
HMNZS WELLINGTON joined HMAS GASCOYNE and HMAS DIAMANTINA to support Operation RENDER SAFE, the ADF’s enduring contribution to EOD support in the South Pacific. The two week long operation which concludes this week has involved more than 150 personnel from the three participating nations.
The operation also involved the local community in Rabaul with the establishment of a reporting system to locate the ordnance. An explosive awareness campaign was also run which will provide enduring benefit to the area.
“The operation has been a good opportunity to work alongside our Australian Defence Force and Papa New Guinea colleagues to help to make Rabaul a safer place. It has also allowed our EOD teams to enhance their skills in rendering unexploded ordnance safe.
“The support from the local community has been a key factor in the success of the operation. The Papua New Guineans have greatly assisted our disposal teams in the location, removal and final disposal of this ordnance.
“It was good to spend time with the locals and it was fortunate that aside from EOD work the teams were also able to assist in refurbishing a local school house,” said Lieutenant Commander Martin Doolan, Commanding Officer, HMNZS WELLINGTON.
For further information contact Kirsty Taylor-Doig on 021 806 926.