The Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense and RONCO
March 23, 2011
The Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense contracted G4S Taiwan and RONCO Consulting Corporation (RCC) to expand clearance and training capacities on the Kinmen Islands. The islands, heavily mined in the 1950s, are being cleared for civilian use and infrastructure development. Kinmen civilian authorities, the Kinmen Military Command, and the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense have prioritized land clearance to ensure civilian safety and to guide the transition from military zone to protected tourist attraction.
Initial project clearance efforts presented unique challenges, including diverse terrain and environmental conservation concerns. Located off the southwestern coast of Taiwan, the twelve islands’ landscape is varied. While the satellite islets are flat, Mount Taiwu, the highest point of the main island crests at 253 meters. Other mountains stretch into the sea and abrupt cliffs have formed as a result of erosion.
Because the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense is committed to ecological protection, standard clearing efforts were modified to increase efficiency and decrease environmental disturbance. G4S Taiwan and RCC responded with clearance methods and equipment developed to be minimally invasive. Alternative demining techniques, including the introduction of prototype robotic technology, support manual clearance, and transport of hazardous material through thick vegetation. Since June 2010, we have completed and turned over 21 of 26 minefields.
Before the start of each minefield operation, Taiwanese military personnel facilitate a commencement ceremony to connect RCC personnel with village communities at the operative location. This outreach fosters local understanding of overall operating conditions, mine risk education, and safety control.
G4S Taiwan and RCC's UXO clearance training program in Taiwan trains soldiers at the Combat Engineering School on Kinmen Island. Two international demining instructors work with 14 army deminers in landmine fields around the island. RCC instructors provide three stages of training to qualify soldiers as certified deminers in accordance with the Mine Action Center of the United Nations or the International Demining Organizing upon course completion.
G4S Taiwan and RCC recognize the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense’s drive to restore environmental and social stability, and look forward to continuing and developing our relationship in Taiwan.