A Message from the Director

A Message from the Director

By Suzanne Fiederlein, PhD

CISR Journal

This article is brought to you by the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR) from issue 27.3 of The Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction available on the JMU Scholarly Commons and Issuu.com.

Suzanne FiederleinAs I write, there is so much happening in the world of mine action, both encouraging and disheartening news. Just this week, reports claim that clearing Ukraine’s contamination will take decades; Lebanon announced it is free of ISIS-cleared IEDs; and we learned of three HALO bomb technicians injured in the Kherson region of Ukraine. Increasingly we read about floods displacing UXO, and extreme heat and fires causing ERW to explode. Given these unfolding events, it is of vital importance that we continue to share information, reporting on the issues, challenges, and successes we face in our programs around the world.

In this issue of The Journal:

  • Robin Toal delves into MAG’s emergency digital explosive ordnance risk education (DEORE) in response to a tragic accident that occurred on 9 June 2023 in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia that killed twenty-seven people, including twenty-two children. MAG’s rapid-response DEORE materials on Facebook and Instagram illustrate the effectiveness and lessons learned from this response.

  • Golden West’s Charlie Holloway reflects on the history and present-day activities of the US State Department’s Quick Reaction Force (QRF), tasked with responding rapidly to landmine, battle area clearance, and physical security and stockpile emergencies. In partnership with State since 2013, Golden West highlights two QRF deployments: a WWII aerial bomb in the Federated States of Micronesia (2017) and a series of explosions in Equatorial Guinea (2021).

  • Jasper Baur, Gabriel Steinberg, John Frucci, PhD, and Anthony Brinkley (Demining Research Committee/Oklahoma State University/Columbia University) address the gap between mine action and academic research, planting a field with 143 diverse items including mines, IEDs, submunitions, and UXO to assess methods and test equipment for detection and mapping of ERW.

  • Lieutenant Perederii (National Police of Ukraine), Tony Salvo (Bomb Techs Without Borders), and Drew Prater (Relyant Global) introduce the fourth edition of the free and downloadable guide, “Basic Identification of Ammunition in Ukraine,” available in Ukrainian and English, which contains entries for more than 500 munitions for the military and NGOs working to clear contamination in Ukraine.

  • Lieutenant Colonel Geir P. Novik (Norwegian Defence Research Establishment) discusses the training program for the deactivation of firearms, implemented by the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has encouraged capacity building, ensured that firearm deactivation is accomplished through international standards, and weapons are “rendered inoperable,” curbing illicit firearm trafficking and criminal activity.

  • Lynna Banach (American Public University), Commodore Roy Vincent T. Trinidad, and Captain Julian B. Dolor (Armed Forces of the Philippines) report on Golden West’s ordnance recycling technology, and how its application could be employed in the Philippines to counter the prevalence of ERW while also supporting its counterinsurgency battle.

  • Mark Wilkinson, PhD, highlights the work of DanChurchAid under the auspices of the Lebanese Mine Action Centre, noting the country’s many successes in clearing decades worth of cluster bombs, mines, and ERW while also underscoring the challenges it faces in “completing the job.” Wilkinson notes that while Lebanon has demonstrated excellence in mine action, it continues to need international support to realize its opportunity of “complete clearance.”

  • In partnership with the Iraq Directorate of Mine Action, Iraqi State Bureau of Antiquities and Heritage, and the US State Department, Erin Atkinson, Marc Dennehy, and Craig Locke explore Tetra Tech’s clearance initiatives in Old Mosul. Their work includes survey, clearance, and debris removal at both the Al-Masfi Mosque and Al Tahera Church. Through the use of a 3D model generated using photogrammetry and drones, they are able to accurately assess the scope and scale of the project.

As we look ahead, CISR is excited to announce the 28th volume of The Journal publishing in winter 2024. We are eager to share our new calls for papers on a diverse array of topics. These range from regional focuses on Myanmar, South Sudan, Yemen, and Ukraine to thematic issues including environmental mitigation, liability and land release, first-aid training and trauma care, broadening victim assistance, and how we are addressing bias through our use of language and imagery. Please note that in addition to the full list of topics, we encourage submissions encompassing all areas of mine action and welcome inquiries on potential articles and the review process. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Published: Monday, October 16, 2023

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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