US Ambassador to Vietnam visits NPA Cluster Munition Remnant Survey (CMRS) operations in Quang Tri Province
This week, US Ambassador to Vietnam, His Excellency Ambassador Ted Osius, visited NPA's Cluster Munition Remnant Survey (CMRS) operations in Quang Tri Province, as well as the trial Explosive Detection Dogs of NPA/Project RENEW, and MAG (Mines Advisory Group), who are clearing the cluster munition contaminated areas identified by NPA/Project Renew.
“I am happy to learn that all high impacted areas in Quang Tri Province will be cleared in the next five years and Quang Tri still needs residual reactive capacity to destroy munitions,” said Amb. Osius. “UXO clearance activities are important for not only people in Quang Tri but also people in neighboring provinces and neighboring countries because lessons learned from mine action in Quang Tri can be applied in countries still affected by UXO”. The U.S. Department of State, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (WRA) is the main donor of this project.
Cluster Munition Remnant Survey (CMRS), is an evidence-based survey system, developed by NPA, to address cluster munition contamination in south-east Asia, but basic principles can be applied in other contaminated countries. Past cluster munition techniques in the region were largely based on mine clearance approaches, which resulted in lower efficiency when addressing cluster munition remnants. CMRS has proved highly efficient and effective in identifying and defining accurately areas contaminated with cluster munition remnants (CHAs), through impact assessment, combined with non-technical and technical survey. The CHA is then recorded, and subsequently cleared of contamination. In the case of Quang Tri province in Vietnam, CMRS is conducted by NPA, and clearance of the CHAs conducted by MAG. This effective joint effort will see the province cleared of the cluster munition remnant contamination in next five years, allowing local communities to live and work safely, free of the risk of injury or death from these explosive remnants of war.