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ERW Clearance, Chile, M16, AP Mines, GICHD, Erik Tollefsen
This report responds to a request for advice on safe and efficient procedures for clearance of M16 bounding fragmentation type anti-personnel mines in a minefield in the Picton Islands.
Following an invitation from Colonel Mendoza from CNAD, the GICHD Director, Ambassador Stephan Husy, visited Chile from the 20 to 29 January 2012. The GICHD Director had visited Chile previously when he focused on the minefields in the north of the country. Accompanying the GICHD Director was Ms Aurora Martinez, the GICHD focal point for Spanish speaking countries and specialist on information management. Mr Erik Tollefsen, the GICHD advisor on EOD, stockpile destruction and technology, was also invited to visit the mine action programme in Chile as a follow-on from the CNAD initiated assessment of ongoing clearance activities in 2009. Mr Tollefsen did not have an opportunity to visit Chilean Navy clearance operations on his initial assessment mission, so the January 2013 visit would allow him to provide technical advice to the Marines mine clearance organisation, should this be required.
The GICHD recommends the Chilean Navy revisits its procedures planned for the demining operation on the Picton Islands. The current procedures are exposing the operator to unneccesary risk as he/she will have to approach every single mine with an explosive disarmament method twice. The GICHD recommends that the Navy demining team develops SOPs based on the reccomendations found in this report.