RONCO's approach to demining is a two-tiered approach. RONCO's dog teams are first used to locate mines. Mines are then lifted or destroyed in place by deminers. This has proven, for RONCO, to be a highly successful, accurate, safe and cost effective method. Indigenous capacity building is the next link to RONCO's demining approach. When RONCO leaves an area, they leave behind a fully equipped indigenous team of dog handlers and deminers to carry on demining efforts. Demining can then continue in a timely manner and the host country can operate with limited foreign assistance.
Since August 1996, RONCO has implemented demining projects in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia under the U.S. Department of State and World Bank Funding. Over 15,440 square miles of land has been cleared by RONCO. They also won four contracts from the International Trust Fund for Demining and from the Assistance of Mine Victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At completion of the contracts, an estimated 308 additional miles of land will be cleared by RONCO and its partners. On June 11, 1999, Ronco signed a four-month contract with the State Department to provide six demining teams and a management team to the U.S demining efforts in Kosovo. Consisting of two mine detecting dogs, deminers, medics and support personnel, each team will perform mapping, identifying, recording, marking and destroying mines and UXO.
In October 1999, RONCO was awarded $250 million demining contract from the Department of State. The contract calls for RONCO to provide mine clearance, mine-detection support logistics and supply service to countries receiving U.S. humanitarian demining assistance. The State Department contract is an indefinite quality contract. Over the next five years RONCO will be given tasks to complete by the State Department.
The State Department will be the contract administrator for the specifics of this contract and will make its decisions in contract direction through an interagency working group, which will involve relevant government agencies. The following companies/NGO's were involved with RONCO's bid for the contract and may be called upon to provide additional support:
- Global Training Academy dogs
- Global Training Academy dogs
began work in Thailand as part of the Integrated Mine Action Support
Task Order, which is a part of this contract. In November 1999, a four-person
team traveled to Thailand for an assessment. A two-phase performance
plan was created. In Phase I, RONCO will place a four-person team for
a six-week survey period. The team's responsibilities will include determining
the availability of specially trained dogs and handlers and reviewing
requirements, information sources and site visits in coordination with
the U.S. Embassy, the Thailand Mine Action Center and the Thai military.
In Phase II, RONCO will develop the Thailand Mine Detecting Dog Center
with the goal of The Center being operational by September 2000.
Phase I of this program was completed in December 1999. At that time RONCO carried out site visits, purchased and trained dogs, determined the availability of handlers and integrated ADP demining teams to work in mine fields. Refresher training for dog handlers will also be provided with completion of tasks scheduled by August 2000.