14 September 2023
As part of Operation Render Safe, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) led a multinational team to safely dispose of dangerous explosive remnants of war on the Pacific island of Nauru.
A team of explosive ordnance disposal experts was deployed to Nauru to do a survey of reported World War II explosive remnants of war (ERW) for future disposal.
ERWs are explosive munitions left behind after a conflict, such as unexploded artillery shells, grenades and mortars, that still pose a risk of detonation.
Invited by the Government of Nauru, the ADF specialists were joined by teams from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, New Zealand Army and United States Marine Corps and worked closely with the local government and police force.
Observers from the United States Army, Republic of Korea Armed Forces and French Armed Forces in New Caledonia were also part of the mission.
The ADF-led contingent also ran education seminars about the hazards of ERW for Nauru government members along with the local police force, fire and emergency services and high school.
Commander of ADF Operations in the South West Pacific, Major General Scott Winter, said the successful event reflected the close cooperation of everyone involved.
“The operation identified 10 explosive remnants of war including six projectiles, one bomb and three fuse systems which will enable us to conduct further planning with Nauru for their safe disposal,” MAJGEN Winter said.
“This has been a valuable opportunity to work together with Nauruan authorities and our friends from New Zealand, Solomon Islands, the United States, Republic of Korea and New Caledonia, and for our teams to share knowledge while working in support of our Pacific family.
“Explosive remnants of war continue to impact the lives of our Pacific family on a daily basis. I am proud to see our friends in the region coming together for this operation. It is meaningful work which will make a positive impact on families and communities in the region.”
This latest deployment follows the ADF’s support to Nauru in July this year, when Australian Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians successfully disarmed a World War II 500lb Mark 12 bomb.
The ADF will continue to work with the Government of Nauru and key stakeholders to plan for the future disposal of the unexploded ordnance.
Operation Render Safe is the ADF-led enduring commitment to removing the danger posed by explosive remnants from the Second World War from Pacific nations.
Media can access imagery and vision of Operation Render Safe at https://images.defence.gov.au/S20232566.