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Exercise Detonator 2016 Concludes

MONS, Belgium - Exercise Detonator 2016, an annual exercise to seek and destroy conventional munitions, wrapped up in Riga, Latvia on Friday, Oct. 28.

The exercise, which got underway on Oct. 16th, took place in the central Latvian municipality of Cekule, the territory of a former ammunition storage facility. Participants not only rid the storage facility area of explosives but also promoted cooperation between unexploded ordnance tactics and procedures.


Latvian explosive ordinance disposal technicians prepare to detonate unexploded ordinance near the Cekule ammunition warehouse outside of Riga, Latvia during Exercise Detonator 2016. The annual exercise was held from October 16-28 and cleared the territory of explosives found in the top layer of soil that put population health and life at risk. - Photo by Normunds Mežiņš, JIC   

Detonator 2016 is a tactical level exercise for land force and national guard explosive ordinance disposal and engineer units. Participants included more than 140 soldiers from Latvia, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Germany, Belgium and Sweden. Observers from Slovenia, Ukraine, Canada and Hungary also took part.

The Cekule ammunition warehouse was used for military purposes from 1920 to 1995. During World War II, Soviet Army guerrillas destroyed the warehouse creating a large amount of unexploded ordinances littering the area. Presently, 240 hectares of land are contaminated with unexploded ordnances in Latvia. Since it is not guarded and most of the unexploded ordnances (UXOs) lay in the top layer of soil, population health and life are at risk.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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