Article By: UXO Guest Author Maarten Bosma, Bombs Away.
First of all, I want to thank UXOInfo.com for their hospitality when I met them during my stay in the United States (US). I found it very interesting to talk to them and get some more inside information about the way UXO clearance works in the US. I've learned that there are many differences between the Dutch and the American regulations in the field. So in this article, I want to explore one of the main differences - the certification or qualifications for UXO personnel.
In the US, UXO personnel qualifications are established by the U.S. Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board (DDESB) which is outlined in Technical Paper 18 (TP 18). The DDESB defines seven UXO positions (UXO Sweeper; UXO Technician Level 1, 2, and 3; UXOSO; UXOQCS; and SUXOS) with the levels primarily based upon years of experience. TP-18 recognizes military EOD training from a very limited number of countries outside of the US - Canada, Great Britain, Germany, or Australia as well as civilian UXO training. The US does not require any testing and/or certifications from UXO workers outside of the OSHA requirements and added quality training for the UXOQCS position.
In The Netherlands, UXO qualifications are governed by the VEO (Vereniging voor Explosieven Opsporing) which is a governing body that has a commission of experts who provide advice on new regulations. The Dutch Army EOD is also represented in the commission. In The Netherlands, personnel who perform UXO detection surveys and identification of UXO in the field fall into three different levels or categories: