KEARNEYSVILLE, W.V.– Schonstedt Instrument Company of Kearneysville, W.V., in partnership with the United Nations Mine Action Team, has launched the Schonstedt Humanitarian Demining Initiative, which will place hundreds of sophisticated magnetic locators in the hands of humanitarian mine clearance personnel in war-ravaged countries around the globe. Under the Schonstedt Humanitarian Demining Initiative, each purchase of a new Schonstedt TraceMaster or XTpc underground pipe and cable locator will trigger a donation, in the customer’s name, of a magnetic locator for explosive ordnance detection. The UN Mine Action Service will then coordinate the distribution of the locators to where they are most needed, thereby extending its humanitarian demining work throughout the world.
Schonstedt Instrument Company is the world’s leading manufacturer of handheld magnetic locators – known technically as gradiometers or magnetometers – for detection of unexploded ordnance (UXO). Examples of UXO are landmines, grenades, mortars, shells, cluster munitions, bombs and other explosive remnants of war.
Manual detection of these ferrous metal objects is dependent on an instrument’s ability to sense subsurface anomalies within the earth’s magnetic field, and Schonstedt’s reputation for sensitive instrumentation is well established. They have been making laboratory quality magnetometers since 1953, and were the first company to offer a handheld magnetic locator. Today, the company’s locators are the preferred technology of both military and humanitarian UXO teams around the world.
“We’re proud of our reputation for quality instruments, and very proud that our locators are the top choice of overseas military deminers,” says Schonstedt President Mike Head. “This initiative is aimed at humanitarian workers engaged in the restoration of land impacted by land mines, unexploded ordnance and other explosive remnants of war. As a company, we want to do our part to heal the wounds of war; we think our customers will feel the same way.”
Schonstedt has shipped thousands of magnetic locators to the military and its contractors, as well as non-governmental organizations, for use in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Lebanon, South Korea, Russia and Vietnam.
“When we heard that the 2007 UN coordinated appeal had a funding shortfall of $317.5 million, for demining in some of the world’s poorest and most UXO-ridden countries, we realized that companies like us were going to have to step up. We’re proud to be able to help,” says Bob Ebberson, Schonstedt’s Director of Business Development.
According to Max Gaylard, Director of the UN Mine Action Service, “This initiative will certainly help us extend our reach to those populations for which UXO clearance would not otherwise be possible. We are pleased to be partnering with Schonstedt, and applaud their commitment to global mine action.”
The initiative is expected to continue indefinitely, since most experts predict a decades-long need for humanitarian demining. Schonstedt, long a provider of magnetic locators to the military, is now taking the lead in humanitarian demining by contributing, with its customers’ help, hundreds of locators to the world’s neediest regions.