Hai Lang District, Quang Tri (28 November 2018) — Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams managed by NPA-Project RENEW on Wednesday safely destroyed a 750-pound U.S. aircraft bomb at their Central Demolition Site in Hai Que Commune.
The quick response was triggered after a local forest harvester in Hai Lam Commune called to the Legacy of War Coordination Center (LWCC). Phan Van Quoc of Xuan Lam Village reported that he had unexpectedly found a big wartime unexploded ordnance in an acacia plantation where he was about to harvest.
On Monday afternoon, NPA-RENEW dispatched our EOD Team No. 4 to Xuan Lam Village and was directed by Quoc to the location of the unexploded ordnance, which turned out to be a huge aircraft bomb, mostly buried underground while its head emerged above the surface. Team Leader Hoang Kim Chien asked his men to mark the site, reported the incident to NPA-RENEW Head Office, and then left because it was getting dark.
The EOD team returned to Xuan Lam Village the next day, on Tuesday, accompanied by NPA-RENEW National Technical Officer Bui Trong Hong, a retired PAVN colonel. The team caefully removed earth to expose the bomb for investigation. It was identified an air-dropped general purpose bomb, M117 series, that was extensively used by U.S. military forces during the Vietnam War.
Since its bottom fuze was missing and its nose fuze was dented, Col. Hong determined that it was safe to remove and ordered the team to proceed. It took the EOD team an entire day to move and safely transport the bomb to the Central Demolition Site (CDS) in Hai Que Commune for disposal.
On Wednesday morning, under supervision of Col. Hong, NPA-RENEW EOD teams succesfully detonated the M117.
Information reported by local people to the LWCC hotline number in 2018 has enabled NPA-RENEW teams to conduct 635 EOD tasks, resulting in 5,286 items of UXO being safely destroyed.
The Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) Survey & Clearance Program implemented at Project RENEW is funded by the U.S. Department of State and the DFID-UK Department for International Development, as a cooperative project between NPA and Quang Tri Province Department of Foreign Affairs.
Project RENEW was established in 2001 as a joint effort between the government of Quang Tri Province and interested INGOs to “restore the environment and neutralize the effects of the war” – with the main focus on unexploded ordinance.
Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) is one of the leading organizations worldwide in humanitarian disarmament. NPA has worked in Vietnam since 2008 following the signing of an MOU with the government of Quang Tri People’s Committee to support the development of Project RENEW’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) capacity. NPA’s operational footprint now covers all of Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue Provinces, with an increase of assets to four Battle Area Clearance teams, one Non-Technical Survey team, four EOD teams, and 25 Technical Survey teams.