UXO in Mili and Maloelap
Between March 7-12, 2013 HPO staff accompanied Mr. Len Austin, EOD-Deputy Director of Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, to Mili Island, Mili Atoll, and Taroa Island, Maloelap Atoll. Accompanying the team to Mili was RMI EPA Representative Juda Langrine, and to Maloelap was the Honorable Mayor Hemley Benjamin.
The purpose of the trips was to identify Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) on the two atolls, and to develop a strategic plan of action that will likely take place in May and June, 2013. Golden West Humanitarian Foundation is a nonprofit organization that develops technologies to address humanitarian mine and UXO clearance. The United States Embassy in Majuro organized Golden West’s trip to the RMI with assistance from the RMI Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Golden West and the RMIHPO prioritized the identification of UXO located near occupied residences and active agricultural areas.
The UXO in the Marshall Islands are remnants of WWII. Mili and Maloelap are both former Japanese bases that fell under the attack of the US Navy between 1942 and 1945. American and Japanese projectiles constitute the majority of UXO located on Mili Island, and Taroa Island had a variety of mostly American projectiles and bombs.
The RMIHPO assisted in the identification of UXO, World War II historic properties, and communication with local informants and residents.
For more information about Golden West Humanitarian Foundation visit their website at www.goldenwesthf.org.