Some 700-1,000 Sterling Global Operations (SGO) employees will carry out the project, called Afghan-Wide Mine and Battle Area Clearance, which will safely and efficiently remove a landmine and battle area unexploded ordnance (UXO) threat at Bagram Air Field (BAF); U.S. Forces – Afghanistan bases; and other bases and civilian access areas throughout the country.
“This contract assigns to SGO country-wide responsibilities for demining and removing the dangerous explosive remnants of war,” said Matt Kaye, SGO president and chief executive officer. “The most important service we provide is protecting the lives of American and foreign military members and civilian employees, the facilities in which they work, and the lives of host nation civilians who face danger every day when they’re just walking near their villages or in their fields. The contract is valued at over $30 million with planned and expected growth.”
SGO’s 12-month contract is through the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center-Huntsville, Alabama, supporting the Bagram Airfield Mine Action Center, U.S. Forces- Afghanistan (USFOR-A), Transatlantic Engineering District, and other customers.
“We’ll be clearing mines and unexploded ordnance to a depth of one meter, generally,” said Nick Iaiennaro, SGO Afghan-Wide program manager. “When we detect them deeper, we’ll remove them as well. We’ll inspect above-ground accumulations of earthen material and building debris and clear them of UXO, abandoned explosive ordnance (AXO), and other hazardous materials.”
Mike Pate, operations manager for Afghan-Wide, said demining and battle area clearance are painstaking tasks.
“There are a huge number of potential hazards all over this country,” Pate said. “SGO has cleared more than 70 million square meters of Afghan territory of mines, UXO, and AXO as certified by the United Nations office responsible for tracking these figures. No one has done more, I believe”.
SGO’s workforce will be made up of U.S., other country, and Afghan technical expert teams. Teams will use manual and mechanized equipment to include a wide array of mine and munitions detection devices; personal protection equipment; armored bulldozers; other armored tracked and specialized vehicles; and “sifting” equipment to detect areas contaminated with mines, unexploded ordnance, abandoned explosive ordnance, and remove and dispose of them safely.
“This contract saves taxpayer dollars because the work is coordinated with and conducted by a single company,” said Kaye. “It improves and simplifies scheduling, organization, and logistics. Along with protecting lives, this work will convert deadly ground into land that can be used for infrastructure development or agriculture”.
SGO has carried out demining and battle area clearance for three years under two U.S. Army contracts. The company holds two other contracts with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Since 2006, SGO has also supported many coalition partners, including NATO, the U.N., the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA), and commercial companies.
SGO is also executing the approximately $25 million Emirates Mine Clearance Program- Afghanistan (EMCP-A) in Kandahar, Afghanistan. EMCP-A is a UAE-funded, U.N.-implemented, community-based demining project.
About Sterling Global Operations, Inc.
Headquartered in Lenoir City, Sterling Global Operations is an employee-owned, ISO 9001:2008 registered security and infrastructure support company that employs approximately 3,500 professionals worldwide. The company provides customers with mission-critical solutions to help them achieve their business objectives in some of the world’s most austere and hostile environments. From intelligence support and munitions response to logistics and security operations, Sterling Global provides superior products and services to our customers. Sterling Global maintains the highest level of safety, quality and ethics in all aspects of our work.