Gio Linh, Quang Tri (January 20, 2022) — Colonel Eric Larsen, Director of Asia-Pacific Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Center, U.S. Army Pacific, on Thursday visited a clearance site of RENEW/NPA in Gio Linh District during his first working trip to Quang Tri Province this week.
In Diem Ha Village of Gio Hai Commune, Col. Larsen was briefed on the overall mine action in Quang Tri Province and specific operations of RENEW/NPA to survey and clear cluster munitions and other explosive ordnance. Col. Larsen later observed the RENEW/NPA teams demonstrate the operation of the Bearcat and Scorpion systems, which have been deployed in Quang Tri since 2019 and 2020.
These systems are part of the Operations Field Evaluation project to RENEW/NPA under the funding and support of the U.S. Department of Defense. The Scorpion is a deep detection system that uses an electromagnetic sensor and magnetometer, capable of mapping and providing centimeter accuracy of target locations. A vegetation cutting system, the Bearcat provides mechanical support to battle area clearance operations. This project is aimed at developing, demonstrating and validating detection and mechanical systems for more effective and efficient clearance of cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war in Vietnam.
RENEW/NPA management team also explained to Col. Larsen the improvements made in terms of technologies during the implementation of the Operations Field Evaluation project.
The U.S. Government has provided great support to mine action efforts in Vietnam and Col. Larsen felt happy to see the engagement of the U.S. Department of Defense in this specific project.
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”. RENEW is the only comprehensive mine action organization in Vietnam that integrates survey and clearance, risk education, and victim assistance into a coordinated program of action.
Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) is a politically independent membership-based organization working in Norway and more than 30 countries worldwide. NPA’s international work covers three core areas: Mine Action and disarmament, Development and Humanitarian relief aid. NPA has worked in Vietnam since 2007 and collaborated with national and provincial authorities to implement capacity development, survey, and clearance projects in Hanoi, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, and Quang Binh provinces.