More than 150 personnel from the Australian, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea Defence Forces are involved in Operation RENDER SAFE 2011. The ADF's enduring peace-time mission is being conducted over the period 18 October - 4 November in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea. The task is to identify, assess and make safe unexploded World War II ordnance. Operation RENDER SAFE 2011 will also involve a tasking to clear unexploded ordnance from the Kokoda Track. Unexploded munitions are a constant reminder to South Pacific locals of the legacy of World War II but also an enduring and unpredictable threat to their safety. This operation aims to reduce the threat and provide awareness of the types of ordnance, whilst recognising their historical significance and value to the local tourist industry. Operation RENDER SAFE is bolstered by maritime assets HMA Ships GASCOYNE and DIAMANTINA and HMNZ Ships RESOLUTION and WELLINGTON, providing important underwater surveying capability. Cooperation between the three participating nations will provide a great service to the people of Rabaul as well as provide Defence personnel an opportunity to work side by side, whilst continuing to enhance skills in rendering unexploded ordnance safe. Although the ADF has historically conducted explosive ordnance disposal in the South Pacific, including Kiribati and the Marshall Islands, Operation RENDER SAFE is the first enduring operation of its type. The Solomon Islands were the first area to receive assistance under the RENDER SAFE banner in 2009.
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