Schonstedt partners with UN to demine war stricken countries

In an effort to help war-torn countries rid themselves of silent killers still implanted within the ground, Schonstedt Instrument of Kearneysville, West Virginia, partnered with the United Nations Mine Action Team in creating the Humanitarian Demining Initiative, which will donate hundreds of magnetic locators for mine clearance personnel to comb various areas.

Each purchase of a new Schonstedt TraceMaster or XTpc underground utility locator triggers a donation of a magnetic locator for explosive ordnance detection in the customer’s name, according to the company. The UN Mine Action Service coordinates the distribution of the locators to where they are most needed.

“This initiative is aimed at humanitarian workers engaged in the restoration of land impacted by mines, unexploded ordnance and other explosive remnants of war,” says Mike Head, president of Schonstedt. “As a company, we want to do our part to heal the wounds of war. We think our customers will feel the same way.”

According to Schonstedt, manual detection of ferrous metal objects is dependent on an instrument’s ability to sense subsurface anomalies within the earth’s magnetic field. The company has manufactured laboratory quality magnetometers since 1953, and was the first to offer a handheld magnetic locator.

In addition, Schonstedt has supplied the military and its contractors, non-governmental organizations and countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan Kosovo, South Korea, Lebanon, Russia and Vietnam with thousands of magnetic locators.

Max Gaylard, director of the UN Mine Action Service, says the plan will aid the UN in reaching out to those particular populations for which UXO clearance would not otherwise be possible.

The initiative is expected to continue indefinitely, since demining current war ravaged areas could take up to a decade, according to Schonstedt.