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ADF responds to explosive risk in Vanuatu

The Australian Defence Force has rendered explosive remnants of war as safe, at the request of the Vanuatu government.

Following an assessment of the unexploded ordnance in a residential area at Malapoa Estate, Port Vila, the ADF deployed an explosive ordnance disposal team and medical support specialists.

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The squad was brought in by a Royal Australian Air Force C-130J to assist Vanuatu Mobile Force’s (VMF) Explosive Specialists with disposal tasks from 6-11 December, as part of Operation RENDER SAFE.

Operation RENDER SAFE is an ADF-led commitment to regional partners in the south Pacific.

Chief of Joint Operations, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, said the squadron assisted the VMF dispose of the Second World War ordnance in a safe location on Efate Island, Vanuatu.

"The disposed items comprised 12 75mm high explosive artillery rounds and a mixture of Second World War munitions including ball ammunition and grenades," AIRMSHL Hupfeld said

"Although 73 years have passed since the end of the Second World War, the threat of unexploded ordnance remains for south-west Pacific nations, and we continue to work closely with our neighbours to manage and remove these potential dangers."

Australia's assistance to Pacific islands in disposing of unexploded remnants of war focuses on reducing the threat while educating and training their national security capability.

"The removal of unexploded ordnance improves safety for the local population through the elimination of risks from unstable and unsafe explosives,” AIRMSHL Hupfeld said.

ADF responds to explosive risk in Vanuatu
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