RSIPF UNDERWATER EXPLOSIVES CLEARANCE CAPABILITY BOOSTED

RSIPF Constable Simon Rihia, of the Explosive Ordnance Team, monitors a towable side scan sonar array for an underwater search of explosive remnants. Photo credit: Operation Render Safe 2016.

RSIPF Constable Simon Rihia, of the Explosive Ordnance Team, monitors a towable side scan sonar array. Photo credit: Operation Render Safe 2016.

A team of Royal Australian Navy clearance divers is partnering with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) on Guadalcanal to enhance the underwater clearance capability of the Solomon team.

Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Officer Lieutenant Robert Kelly of the Australian Clearance Diving Team One said his team is mentoring the RSIPF in a variety of techniques and technology in underwater Explosive Ordnance Disposal.

Lieutenant Kelly said they are using side scan sonar array in order to find explosive ordnance off the coast of Guadalcanal near Hells Point.

He said there are thousands of explosive projectiles scattered in the areas of Hells Point and Alligator Creek.

This range from 75-millimetre mortars to eight-inch artillery rounds, some of which are white phosphorus – very difficult to dispose of.

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