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