The US State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs (DAS) visited the Burundian army-operated demolition range outside Bujumbura yesterday, to witness the destruction of 30 SAM7 Grail MANPAD devices.
MAG provides technical assistance and support to the army at the site, located approximately 25 kilometres from the capital.
MAG destroyed 30 SAM7 Grail MANPADS.
On arrival, the DAS was given a technical briefing by MAG's Technical Field Manager, who explained that the demolition site had been prepared using nine litres of binary explosives and surrounded by sandbags to contain the force of the blast.
The party then retreated to a safe distance of 1.6 km to view the blast, with the DAS congratulating MAG on an “extremely impressive and professional” job.
Later, the DAS was taken on a tour of the central destruction facility in Bujumbura, operated by the army with technical assistance and oversight provided by MAG.
Here, items of SALW are chopped up using mobile disk cutters prior to being incinerated, ensuring they can never be used as weapons again. Again, the DAS congratulated MAG and the army on the excellent work being carried out.
13 June 2008