Ecuador Receives New Mine-Clearing Equipment From US

The US military has transferred more than $1.3 million in demining equipment to the Ecuadorian armed forces to help clear land mines in the southern part of the country.

The package includes 16 portable solar panels and four storage batteries that can provide up to 1,250 watt-hours for recharging sensory equipment.

Additionally, the US provided the Ecuadorian deminers with protective suits, field kits, and electronic tablets for hazard mapping.

The demining equipment delivered to Ecuador is reportedly easy to use because of its lightweight feature, meaning it can be carried deep into the jungle to clear more mines.

“It’s an amazing feeling to work with these soldiers to accomplish this effort to provide them new and innovative equipment and foster relationships built with our state partners,” Senior Master Sgt. Matthew Wilt from the 123rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight said.

Demining equipment
Demining equipment delivered to Ecuador. Photo: Lt. Col. Allison Stephens/US Air National Guard

‘Very Important Support’

In addition to providing upgraded demining equipment, the US has initiated training with Ecuadorian deminers on land navigation and plotting, information and data gathering, and information management.

177th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight team leader Tech Sgt. David Bernal said that sharing his demining knowledge with Ecuadorian soldiers was a privilege.

He asserted that the training would greatly help the allied nation perform “difficult and dangerous” demining missions.

“The US military and Guard forces are uniquely positioned to share our technology and experience with our partners,” he said.

“By providing them with updated protective equipment and solar power, the deminers will be able to complete this mission and return the land safely to the population.”

For Ecuadorian Army Lt. Gian Tapia, the delivery of new demining equipment to Ecuador serves as a “very important support” of the US government to make its ally safer.

“We receive this equipment with the best of intentions, and rest assured it will be put to good use,” the official stated.

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