Soldiers clear land of bombs

PUBLISHED: 11:28 03 July 2009 | UPDATED: 21:49 31 May 2010

Sergeant Neil Phillips explains the dangers of unexploded ordnance to Kenyan villagers with the help of a Kenyan Army translator.

Soldiers from 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) based in Carver Barracks in Essex are taking part in Exercise Pineapple in Kenya. The exercise involves the Engineers, from 21 Filed Squadron that is part of 33 Regiment and who specialise in the collection and disposal of unexploded ordnance. In Kenya they are working with engineering elements of the Kenyan military to sweep over areas used by other troops training who take part in live firing in the training areas with the aim of reducing as much of the unexploded ordnance as possible.
They also take part in educational visits to local villages and churches to try and inform the Kenyan people who may discover this ordnance when tending crops or animals of the dangers of picking up or disturbing ordnance.
Through a series of briefings they highlight what is potentially dangerous and what they should do if they find anything.

Sergeant Neil Phillips explains the dangers of unexploded ordnance to Kenyan villagers with the help of a Kenyan Army translator. Soldiers from 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) based in Carver Barracks in Essex are taking part in Exercise Pineapple in Kenya. The exercise involves the Engineers, from 21 Filed Squadron that is part of 33 Regiment and who specialise in the collection and disposal of unexploded ordnance. In Kenya they are working with engineering elements of the Kenyan military to sweep over areas used by other troops training who take part in live firing in the training areas with the aim of reducing as much of the unexploded ordnance as possible. They also take part in educational visits to local villages and churches to try and inform the Kenyan people who may discover this ordnance when tending crops or animals of the dangers of picking up or disturbing ordnance. Through a series of briefings they highlight what is potentially dangerous and what they should do if they find anything.

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SOLDIERS based at the Carver Barracks in Wimbish have been clearing the Kenyan countryside of unexploded bombs, making the area safe for nomadic tribes. The bomb disposal experts from the 33 Royal Engineers (EOD) regiment dealt with more than 200 potentia

SOLDIERS based at the Carver Barracks in Wimbish have been clearing the Kenyan countryside of unexploded bombs, making the area safe for nomadic tribes.

The bomb disposal experts from the 33 Royal Engineers (EOD) regiment dealt with more than 200 potentially lethal unexploded ordnance devices.

Troop commander Lt Mike Berry, from 21 Field Squadron, said: "Our aim is to make the area safer for people, which we are doing by clearing the areas used in the infantry training but also through the education programme about the dangers of unexploded ordnance."

The soldiers also cleared more than 4500 items of scrap from spent munitions in an area of Kenya known as Archers Post.

The barren lands of Archers Post are extensively used by both the British and the Kenyan Army for infantry live-fire training, leaving behind a very small percentage of mortars, grenades and legacy munitions that fail to detonate.

The British Army therefore, in its memorandum of understanding with the Kenyan authorities, undertakes to clear all of the areas along with the Kenyan Army.

The soldiers also visit schools, villages, small holdings and churches up to 70km away to make a bilingual presentation on the dangers of touching any scrap metal found on the ranges and advise people what they should do if they find anything. The message is clear: do not touch, but contact the British Army in Kenya who will make sure it is dealt with safely.

The operation, known as Exercise Pineapple, is carried out every year to make the ranges safe.

There are also significant Afghanistan-related training benefits to the exercise from a military perspective said Commanding Officer of 21 Field Squadron, Major Ed Robinson.

"Whilst this is not pre-deployment training, the squadron has none-the-less deployed to this austere location and established a forward operating base 185km from the Army base in Nanyuki and is operating at the highest level," he said.

"This exercise is fantastic training as you simply don't have somewhere like this, with these conditions in the UK.


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