Oleg Valetsky "Balkan mines. Notes of a deminer from Bosnia and Herzegovina"
Material posted: Valetskiy OlegPublication date: 22-07-2016
The art of mine clearance, although it requires knowledge about the theory of the explosion of munitions and engineering, but is based primarily on experience and intuition of the engineer. The experience is based not only on personal examples, but examples from the work of other engineers. How acquaints with the experience of engineers or "deminers" participated in the projects of "humanitarian" demining of Bosnia and Herzegovina the focus of this book.

This text represents the diary entries made by the author of this text during his work as a sapper-or rather a deminer, according to local terminology at work in the field so nazyvaemogo "humanitarian demining on the territory of the former Yugoslavia from 1996 to 2008.

The so-called humanitarian demining in the former Yugoslavia started with the fact that in the summer of 1996 in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the territories were under the control srbov - the Republika Srpska and under the control of Muslim and Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina were created by branches of the American company RONCO.

RONCO had branches Serbs in the villages of the Beam (near the Palais) and Zaluzani (Banya Luka),Muslims in Sarajevo and Tuzla,and Croats in Mostar. Local workers were engaged in mine clearing on their own territories, divided into "national" groups. In the summer of 1996, the firm had no more than 100 employees, of which 10-15 people were the Americans and British engaged in administrative duties.

All the other employees were locals. The staff of the company RONCO divided into several categories: medics, dog handlers, translators, commanders of the "tims" and the deminers. "Timy" was of two types: reconnaissance and designerskie. The duties of the intelligence included reconnaissance of minefields and the removal of mines, if their number does not exceed ten, for which they had two or three of the deminer, one canine, one nurse, one team leader. The duties designerskich "tims" were a major part of the work is mine. The number of deminers to "Tim" was about 6-7, and the canine to 2. In consequence of all this is constantly changing, and the distinction between the tims erased. The commander of the "Tim" had paid 950 dollars, the average deminer, interpreter and handler — $ 750, a health worker — $ 650.

The primary purpose of the RONCO, which was training the American standards of local staff. Not all of them were professional engineers, but as the salary, at local standards, were big, many here were introduced through personal and family connections. This is partly offset by the fact that the nature of the work was collective, and several former front-line engineers were able for the first time to do the job for the whole group, while others would gain experience.

Besides, until October 1996, RONCO was engaged in pure intelligence work and its workers any mines not had time to remove, but managed to break several of his jeep Cherokee and Toyota land cruiser. Some jeeps were also stolen by "unknown persons", well, however, known to local police. However, in September 1996 in the work of RONCO has come a definite change.

President Clinton approved the dispatch to Bosnia Herzegovina group in 15 man American commandos known as the "green berets", from the 10th special operations group.This group consisted of experienced sergeants and officers with long service life. They received the task to train the local staff. Initial training began in October in Banja Luka. This was made to 50 persons for the posts of commanders of tims, deminers, medical staff of 600-700 candidates.

Tags: Balkans , AME