The mine action industry, is this the career that you’ve been looking for?
Have you closed the door on your Military career? Are you looking to pursue new opportunities?
There is extraordinary work currently done to rid countries worldwide of landmines and unexploded ordnance, and the demand for qualified individuals in the Mine Action industry is high. The Development Initiative Ltd has a long history of providing opportunities to qualified Military personnel in search of a new career path.
There are over 110 million laid and active landmines globally, excluding the further millions of tonnes of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and explosive remnants of war (ERW). Unexploded devices that injure civilians in conflict and post-conflict zones are a barrier to a country’s regenerative future. Collectively, they pose a daily threat to civilian safety as well as severely impeding economic development.
TDI was established in 2005 to provide extensive project management support to both governmental and non-governmental organisations, incorporating the provision of Landmine Clearance, UXO disposal, Mine Risk Education (MRE), Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD) and Search Training. Additionally, TDI provide Fleet Maintenance and Remote Logistics Solutions. TDI regularly recruit Project Managers, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Trainers and Mentors, as well as Medical personnel for our various projects across locations in Africa and the Middle East.
Since its inception, TDI has formed a notable record in humanitarian and commercial Mine Action, and has proven to be a reliable accessory in a variety of challenging environments. To date, TDI has successfully undertaken over 90 projects in 18 countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Togo, Afghanistan, and Central African Republic to name a few. During its 14-year lifespan, TDI has succeeded in developing its operational capacity and training capabilities, gaining substantial administrative and logistical experience in the deployment and management of our Mine Action activities.
As of 2018, Mechanical Mine Clearance operations conducted by TDI resulted in the freeing up of over 15,875,00 square metres of previously contaminated areas of land and fields. TDI has removed over 246,200 items of unexploded ordnance, safely destroyed over 2,400 tonnes of unserviceable and obsolete munitions and provided over 245,000 valuable Mine Risk Education sessions to civilians who live in danger of these lethal weapons. There are still millions more hazardous items to extract and destroy, and TDI continues to spearhead the efforts to clear the way and reduce the fatal footprint landmines leave behind.
It is widely known that clearing hazardous explosive material is a precarious task; however, TDI is accustomed to working in challenging environments. Our practical approach to operations, combined with the seamless integration of local capacity into our management teams has enabled TDI to emerge as a reliable source of Mine Action and Risk Education provision. We have successfully mobilised multiple projects, refining our processes and procedures along the way. We consider each country’s unique parameters and terrain in order to provide the most appropriate and necessary tools to conduct tasks competently, cost effectively and fundamentally safely, for our staff and that of the county’s civilians.
Like the removal of explosive devices, Mine Risk Education is also crucial to the worldwide Mine Action effort. On almost all of our projects, TDI have a team dedicated to educating civilians, officials and a country’s military personnel on how to recognise these items and what precautions to take. The scope of Mine Action is vast and the opportunities to develop a career within this industry are reflective of this; wide and diverse.
UXO and ERW are a worldwide challenge in conflict and post-conflict zones today, and TDI have worked in many countries riddled with these remnants of war. TDI currently have a prominent presence in countries in Central and West Africa such as South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali. Along with our trained and qualified personnel, TDI also use explosive detection and mine detection dogs to assist in clearance operations. The detection, identification, evaluation, recovery and disposal of all items of explosive ordnance such as grenades, cluster munitions, land service ammunition and mortars is a significant facet of TDI operations. Such disposal is crucial to limiting the risk of injury and accidents with civilians, children and animals, surmounting to additional expenses on a country’s government and healthcare facilities.
It is often perceived that Mine Action is limited to the location and removal of landmines. Mine Action is a collective term for the activities that address all kinds of explosive remnants of war from landmines, UXO to improvised explosive devices (IEDs). An equally dangerous threat to landmines is that of UXO. UXO, comprising of unpredictable explosives including mortars, grenades, missiles and bombs, can be extremely dangerous and volatile if moved or tampered with, becoming a potentially wider and hidden danger.
While our trained and well-equipped personnel remove landmines, UXO and ERW, they also simultaneously conduct technical surveys and GIS mapping. Once the area has been determined landmine and explosive-hazard free, the cleared land is entrusted to local governments, communities and businesses for the sustainable development of this land in the future. Previously displaced civilians can too, return to the land without the risk of encountering these devices.
As has been increasingly seen in today’s media, IEDs are becoming the weapon of choice in many countries of North Africa and the Middle East. TDI has conducted clearance work in countries where there is a growing risk of improvised devices, while providing training solutions to recognise and dispose of these weapons. Our training solutions are flexible and can be adapted according to specific threats unique to each country. Qualified professionals, who are often originally from a Military background and have many years of practical experience gained from exposure in multiple theatres, deliver all of the training in the country of operations where continuous mentoring can be provided
In as much as TDI are clearing hazardous regions, there is often the threat of ammunition finding their way into the hands of criminal groups and rebel forces. This is especially dangerous in countries suffering from violent conflict or weak governance. TDI staff are deployed in these regions to restore ineffective stockpile security and management of such arms and ammunition. Civilians, unbeknown to the dangers of these weapons, may also unintentionally encounter them with an often-fatal outcome. With the accumulated knowledge of our personnel, TDI has developed significant experience in this sector and will assist with a broad range of stockpile management activities including storage, transportation, handling processes, operational procedures and disposal.
Due to our continued presence in remote and often hostile locations, TDI recognises that an efficient and reliable logistics chain is critical to ensure that our clients concentrate on their core business ventures in these challenging environments. TDI provide a variety of tailor-made services to organisations operating in often-inaccessible areas. Whilst Mine Action is our core focus, we also provide practical solutions for camp construction and management, water procurement and fleet maintenance services. The career options within TDI are extensive, with opportunities available in all of the countries within which we operate.
As an organisation, we constantly strive to improve our level of performance and provide the highest quality of service in the industry, for our staff and that of our clients. Removing the threat of unexploded devices is necessary to provide civilians with the opportunity to return or remain in their homes and work for a better future for themselves and their families. We believe that Mine Action must extend beyond merely clearing areas of previously mined land and allude to the fact that communities must be given assistance to rebuild, restore and pursue sustainable peace and development.
TDI teams are incredibly broad with a wealth of experience collaborated from each individual’s particular field of expertise. Collectively, our personnel have worked in all corners of the world. We are proud to employ qualified individuals from over thirty-two countries with staff coming from as far as, although not limited to; South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ivory Coast, the Philippines, Canada, France and the United Kingdom.
TDI aims to make the unnerving transition from military to the Mine Action industry a success for all who join us. All TDI staff are given the trust and responsibility to contribute to making the world a safer place for the millions of people affected daily by landmines and UXO. If you are reading this article and still contemplating what to do next, why not consider joining TDI? There are career options outside of Military life and TDI provide the tools for you to branch into something new. Wherever you are in your career, hanging up one uniform does not suggest it is the end of the road but rather the start of a new one.
To get in touch, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website; www.thedevelopmentinitiative.com, on Twitter; twitter.com/TDI18 or our LinkedIn page; The Development Initiative Ltd for regular updates and employment opportunities.