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Ex Engineer EOD killed in Syria

But what are the relevant controls? Who will set and monitor them? It comes down to the companies contracted and there is too much vested interest to actually do things safely. The talks about definitions and utilising the IMAS MA Standards allows UNMAS to claim it is doing due diligence over the contracts it lets (commercial companies) or funding it provide to NGOs, whilst actually doing nothing of the sort. Get more for less and claim you're saving the world whilst people perform well outside their training with substandard, or non existent kit.


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You're right. The proposed UNMAS IED standards are not at all fit for purpose. However there are some other options being looked at, including by GICHD. Hopefully one of these will help. Unfortunately this took several years in the early days of mine action and it looks like this will take the same


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ugly

LE
Moderator
I would have to be seriously tired of life and skint to even consider any such work. Frankly the best option seems to be leave them all in place and build a new home elsewhere as waiting for the local govt/international aid to come along and deal with them is akin to understanding women!
I (looking back) don't consider that when I left the regulars I had enough experience to play sandpit contractor and I certainly don't now. A couple of companies attempted to get me to go to a sandpit to rebuild a railway. They were offering sh1t money by UK standards. Needless to say I didn't go!
 
Yes, dead right. But there is a lot more to it than just cost cutting. In fact some of the demining NGO's are actually very good at what they do.

And then there are politics and intelligence gathering; fraud, corruption and so on, all playing a part in the modern world of demining.

It has improved somewhat over the years, but not as much as some of us hoped that it would,

Your use of the word modern is slightly incorrect - industry would be a better description
 
Your use of the word modern is slightly incorrect - industry would be a better description

Demining NGOs are no different than any other charity, they are a business first and foremost. They will always ensure the commercial side of their organisation is put before their stated aims.
 

BLU-97

Old-Salt
Demining NGOs are no different than any other charity, they are a business first and foremost. They will always ensure the commercial side of their organisation is put before their stated aims.

Been true for the last 25 years, only public perceptions differ. You can be working with an NGO one day and you are a humanitarian angel, do the same job, in the same location, tomorrow for a commercial company and you are a money grabbing (expat) vulture.

@bob_the_bomb I'm sure you have seen this document (maybe you even contributed to it) but page 42 is telling for me:

"The profile of IEDs and IEDD may be diverting funds away from pre-existing legacy issues that continue to have a significant, but more familiar, humanitarian impact. As and when the profile of IEDs and IEDD reduces (or itself becomes more familiar), there is no guarantee that attention, and funding, will be re-allocated to legacy issues."

or in plain speak, "Don't take my funding, I like my funding. How can I keep my funding?"

edited: won't let me attach the pdf (maybe too big?). Anyway heres the link to it: Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining: An Initial Study Into Mine Action and Improvised Explosive Devices
 
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Deleted 60082

Guest
A 20 something painter and decorator was recently killed attempting demining. Big on the local news. I will try and find a link

Briton Jac Holmes killed clearing mines after helping defeat Islamic State in Raqqa

Sad, really, and I refer to my post above about the young group of de-miners going to northern Syria I saw at Heathrow about three weeks ago:

Mr Holmes, a former IT worker from Bournemouth was believed to be one of the longest serving of a motley band of Britons who have joined Kurdish forces fighting the militants in recent years.


He first travelled to the region in early 2015 without any military experience and went on to fight three separate stints with the Kurdistan People's Protection Units (YPG), including a final tour of more than a year
.​

Also makes me question the motivation of chaps such as the late Mr Holmes. Was he doing it because he thought it was 'just' or because his life as an IT worker was so dull that he wanted some illegal excitement? As I pointed out on another forum, we should be also concerned about those returning from having fought against IS. They will have killed and most probably observed/partaken in all sorts of atrocities.
 
Sad, really, and I refer to my post above about the young group of de-miners going to northern Syria I saw at Heathrow about three weeks ago:

Mr Holmes, a former IT worker from Bournemouth was believed to be one of the longest serving of a motley band of Britons who have joined Kurdish forces fighting the militants in recent years.


He first travelled to the region in early 2015 without any military experience and went on to fight three separate stints with the Kurdistan People's Protection Units (YPG), including a final tour of more than a year
.​

Also makes me question the motivation of chaps such as the late Mr Holmes. Was he doing it because he thought it was 'just' or because his life as an IT worker was so dull that he wanted some illegal excitement? As I pointed out on another forum, we should be also concerned about those returning from having fought against IS. They will have killed and most probably observed/partaken in all sorts of atrocities.

I feel its important to point out that Mr Holmes was probably involved in "combat clearance" to facilitate troops to continue operations as opposed to deliberate Demining / UXO clearance / IEDD. It does not take away from the tragic loss of life. Deaths through these type of operations are part and parcel of counterinsurgency operations and will continue to be an omnipresent threat as long as combat operations are required.
 
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Deleted 60082

Guest
I feel its important to point out that Mr Holmes was probably involved in "combat clearance" to facilitate troops to continue operations as opposed to deliberate Demining / UXO clearance / IEDD. It does not take away from the tragic loss of life. Deaths through these type of operations are part and parcel of counterinsurgency operations and will continue to be an omnipresent threat as long as combat operations are required.
Fair point, but the chap had no previous military experience and it does beg the question why the hell he was in Raqqa in the first place. The point I have been trying to make is what motivation lies behind these foreign fighters who have fought against IS? If these guys and girls come back to the UK they will be seriously f£cked up but without any of the support that SP have these days. Added to the dubious motivation as to why they went in the first place, there is every risk of there being some first class, potentially armed up loonies on the loose in the UK.
 
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Fair point, but the chap had no previous military experience and it does beg the question why the hell he was in Raqqa in the first place. The point I have been trying to make is what motivation lies behind these foreign fighters who have fought against IS? If these guys and girls come back to the UK they will be seriously f£cked up but without any of the support that SP have these days. Added to the dubious motivation as to why they went in the first place, there is every risk of there being some first class, potentially armed up loonies on the loose in the UK.

Their motivation comes from the same place as those who join IS. Propaganda , and a misplaced belief that their effort will somehow change the world, Combatants from both sides will keep the security services stretched to breaking point for a long time to come (just in case that didn't have enough to contend with) A solid case for withdrawal of passports and nationality for everyone who goes to fight.
 
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Deleted 60082

Guest
Their motivation comes from the same place as those who join IS. Propaganda , and a misplaced belief that their effort will somehow change the world, Combatants from both sides will keep the security services stretched to breaking point for a long time to come (just in case that didn't have enough to contend with) A solid case for withdrawal of passports and nationality for everyone who goes to fight.
Yes, I agree. They're certainly no heroes.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
I feel its important to point out that Mr Holmes was probably involved in "combat clearance" to facilitate troops to continue operations as opposed to deliberate Demining / UXO clearance / IEDD. It does not take away from the tragic loss of life. Deaths through these type of operations are part and parcel of counterinsurgency operations and will continue to be an omnipresent threat as long as combat operations are required.
He went as a fighter, he, it seems was involved in clearance work only after Raqqa fell. I wonder if he was encouraged to take part or was just killed by an IED so they bigged up his death!
There are quite a few ex regulars involved in the fighting out there on both sides with the majority on the PKK side. After all the BBC output has been severely pro PKK since Gulf 1.
 
D

Deleted 60082

Guest
He went as a fighter, he, it seems was involved in clearance work only after Raqqa fell. I wonder if he was encouraged to take part or was just killed by an IED so they bigged up his death!
There are quite a few ex regulars involved in the fighting out there on both sides with the majority on the PKK side. After all the BBC output has been severely pro PKK since Gulf 1.
To be fair (again) the PKK have an effective PR machine and they depict themselves as plucky, liberal fighters, Ghurkha-like, if you will. But they've as bloodthirsty as the rest and were central in the Armenian Genocide a 100 years ago, which is an augenblick in this part of the world.
 
I was canvassed for an opinion but I'm not one of the authors. You've certainly got a point about GICHD looking to their own future, but there's little doubt that the 'new' prevalence of IED in many of the countries we're working in has irrevocably changed the way that the mine action sector will have to work. And in that context I think GICHD have a point.

But they are also taking a stand against UNMAS attempt to 'land grab' the issue (and the funds)


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Sad, really, and I refer to my post above about the young group of de-miners going to northern Syria I saw at Heathrow about three weeks ago:

Mr Holmes, a former IT worker from Bournemouth was believed to be one of the longest serving of a motley band of Britons who have joined Kurdish forces fighting the militants in recent years.


He first travelled to the region in early 2015 without any military experience and went on to fight three separate stints with the Kurdistan People's Protection Units (YPG), including a final tour of more than a year
.​

Also makes me question the motivation of chaps such as the late Mr Holmes. Was he doing it because he thought it was 'just' or because his life as an IT worker was so dull that he wanted some illegal excitement? As I pointed out on another forum, we should be also concerned about those returning from having fought against IS. They will have killed and most probably observed/partaken in all sorts of atrocities.


The young fella features in a documentary on Netflix that I watched about two weeks ago. Something like "Brits battling ISIS".

Didn't come across as a big timer, seemed popular with his peers etc. Not defending him or his actions, but he seemed a decent sort from the documentary. Which, I'm aware, can be edited to reflect anything.
 
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BLU-97

Old-Salt
I was canvassed for an opinion but I'm not one of the authors. You've certainly got a point about GICHD looking to their own future, but there's little doubt that the 'new' prevalence of IED in many of the countries we're working in has irrevocably changed the way that the mine action sector will have to work. And in that context I think GICHD have a point.

But they are also taking a stand against UNMAS attempt to 'land grab' the issue (and the funds)


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I agree with what your saying. That's where I think the problem is. It is not the mine action players that should be leading this. They are trying to squeeze themselves into the role by lining it up with MA and it isn't. The thought process is "if not us, then who?" And, to be fair, I don't completely disagree. But as has been said, it will all come down to money and the quality or quantity argument, get the big bucks early for the simple stuff, then claim the rest is beyond capability.

Anyway, there are as many opinions about this as there are EOD operators, it's not like we've ever been able to have a consensus of opinion about anything!* I'm just going to cross my fingers that I don't get another text or FB message with another set of funeral details.

* How many EOD Operators does it take to unscrew a light bulb?
Just one, they hold the bulb and the world turns around them.


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Solomon Islands: Men working for WW2 bomb clearing agency die in explosion WW2 bomb surveyors killed in Solomon Islands blast

Sorry for thread resurrection but another one gone.

I knew Luke and he was a character well suited to ARRSE - I have no idea if he was a member though. Certainly a fun night out!

He wasn’t ex RE or RLC, but I believe ex Para Reg. He entered mine action via HALO some years back - mid 1990s I believe.

HALO didn’t train in EOD in those days, only mine clearance, but Luke soon became a project manager so wasn’t really ‘on the front line’ to the extent that that mattered much.

I haven’t seen or heard from him in more than a decade, but as I understand it, he recently went through a commercially-available EOD course in Kosovo.

There’s no details on the incident yet: I’ve heard from NPA who say that they are waiting for the initial police investigation to complete before starting their own investigation; if they send anyone in they will have to quarantine for 2 weeks.
 
Solomon Islands: Men working for WW2 bomb clearing agency die in explosion WW2 bomb surveyors killed in Solomon Islands blast

Sorry for thread resurrection but another one gone.

I knew Luke and he was a character well suited to ARRSE - I have no idea if he was a member though. Certainly a fun night out!

He wasn’t ex RE or RLC, but I believe ex Para Reg. He entered mine action via HALO some years back - mid 1990s I believe.

HALO didn’t train in EOD in those days, only mine clearance, but Luke soon became a project manager so wasn’t really ‘on the front line’ to the extent that that mattered much.

I haven’t seen or heard from him in more than a decade, but as I understand it, he recently went through a commercially-available EOD course in Kosovo.

There’s no details on the incident yet: I’ve heard from NPA who say that they are waiting for the initial police investigation to complete before starting their own investigation; if they send anyone in they will have to quarantine for 2 weeks.
Honiara = Guadalcanal so plenty of UXO to clear.

RIP.
 
Solomon Islands: Men working for WW2 bomb clearing agency die in explosion WW2 bomb surveyors killed in Solomon Islands blast

Sorry for thread resurrection but another one gone.

I knew Luke and he was a character well suited to ARRSE - I have no idea if he was a member though. Certainly a fun night out!

He wasn’t ex RE or RLC, but I believe ex Para Reg. He entered mine action via HALO some years back - mid 1990s I believe.

HALO didn’t train in EOD in those days, only mine clearance, but Luke soon became a project manager so wasn’t really ‘on the front line’ to the extent that that mattered much.

I haven’t seen or heard from him in more than a decade, but as I understand it, he recently went through a commercially-available EOD course in Kosovo.

There’s no details on the incident yet: I’ve heard from NPA who say that they are waiting for the initial police investigation to complete before starting their own investigation; if they send anyone in they will have to quarantine for 2 weeks.
RIP.
 

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