HALO co-hosts Congressional staff visit to Army Demining Research and Development HD R&D program
On Thursday, August 18, HALO and the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) co-hosted a visit for a 40+ person group to see demining technology up close with the Army’s Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program. The visit included bipartisan Congressional staff from the House and Senate, representatives from the State Department, and individuals from a variety of other organizations with an interest in demining.
The equipment developed by this program makes demining safer and more efficient. This event provided an opportunity for Congressional staff, among other attendees, to witness the technological advancements in demining funded by U.S. taxpayers.
After introductory remarks, the HD R&D team showed the group a number of their newest technologies including (but not limited to) the McClosky screener that separates landmines from other debris, the Bearcat foliage cutter that prepares land for mine inspection, the Scorpion detection system that alerts the user to the presence of unexploded ordnance, and a handheld mine detector that uses ground penetrating radar to make detection far more efficient.
Currently, a total of 92 HD R&D technologies are in use in 16 countries, and overall HD R&D machines have been used to clear over 400,000 landmines and explosives in 44 countries.
After the demonstrations, which included watching a Rotary Mine Comb dig up pre-planted dummy landmines and a Little Storm excavator scale a hill, attendees were invited to see the machines up close. Under the supervision of HD R&D, attendees were able to climb into the operating machines to get a feel for what it’s like the operate the equipment on the ground and drive the remote-controlled PrimeTech machine.
HALO has partnered with the Humanitarian Demining Research and Development (HD R&D) program for twenty years and has used its innovative demining equipment in over ten countries around the world.