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Kiwis Make Contribution to Operation Render Safe

4 December 2013

Kiwis Make Contribution to Operation Render Safe

Members of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) Operational Diving Team have made a significant contribution to the Royal Australian Navy-led multi-national task force conducting Operation Render Safe in the Solomon Islands.

The New Zealand contingent in the 150-member task force comprised four Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians, two of whom are on their third deployment to the south-west Pacific to remove explosive remnants of World War 2. The New Zealand technicians have been working directly on unexploded ordnance, but have also spent a lot of their time working with local communities to locate and identify the ordnance.

Detachment leader Chief Petty Officer Rangi Ehu, an experienced EOD technician, reckons that it is only fair that the RNZN plays its part in the task force.

“We were there in World War 2 but for us New Zealanders the war finished 68 years ago, whereas the Solomon Islanders, who were unwilling participants in the war, have been living with the leftover explosive ordnance ever since.

“This operation gives us a great opportunity to make a contribution to the safety of those local communities and all the members of our team have been looking forward to this deployment.

“In addition to the feeling of satisfaction we get from doing valuable work, we have also benefited by sharpening up our skills working alongside EOD technicians from the Royal Solomon Island Police Force and we will all be taking away some long-term benefits from this operation," he said.

The New Zealand contingent returns home Thursday 5 December 2013.

ENDS

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