A Visit to the “Dubinje” Military Airport
Monday, 28.10.2019 | Stories from Units
Twenty years after the NATO aggression, the Serbian Armed Forces are still dealing with more than 80 sites contaminated with unexploded bombs, said Minister of Defense Aleksandar Vulin, who today, accompanied by Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, Major General Petar Cvetkovića, visited members of the Serbian Armed Forces working to clear the area of the “Dubinje” Military Airport near Sjenica from unexploded ordnance.
— Today, at the “Dubinje” Airport in Sjenica, we had the opportunity to see how much patience and attention is invested by our deminers who are trying to get things back to normal and provide the Serbian Armed Forces with the opportunity to return to the area they left after the NATO aggression. The Serbian Armed Forces will return to all premises that were damaged and destroyed by the NATO aggression in accordance with its needs and tactical requirements, and we will do everything to restore the full combat readiness of the Armed Forces, at the levels of 1999, and, of course, significantly improve it — Minister Vulin said.
We must take extra special care must of the people who perform hard and complex work at the “Dubinje” airport, said Minister Vulin.
— Their equipment must be in accordance with all the standards, must be of the state-of-the-art level, and they must be safe and satisfied. The Serbian Armed Forces is arming and equipping, but the primary consideration of the Serbian Armed Forces is always, first and foremost the safety of all of its members — the Minister of Defense emphasized.
It was determined that during the NATO aggression, “Dubinje” Airport, near Sjenica was attacked 22 times by cluster bombs and high-power bombs. Territorially, the airport is under the jurisdiction of the Second Brigade of the Land Forces, and the Platoon for Demining and Removal of Non-Exploded ordnance of the 310th Engineer Battalion of the Third Brigade of the Land Forces is in charge of demining the area of the airport.
According to the commander of that platoon, Captain Nenad Kanjevac, due to the large area that the airport occupies, the division of the airport into four sectors was carried out in 2018, and according to the priorities set in that year, the demining of Sector 1 was initiated.
— In 2018, we conducted a technical survey of Sector 1, where we determined that out of 47.5 hectares, 27 hectares were under cluster ordnance, while 20.5 hectares were without cluster ordnance, namely, no risk was identified. In 2019, we began the implementation of a complete cleanup of six Sector 1 fields, which are under cluster ordnance. We have cleared 16 hectares under cluster ordnance, while leaving 11 hectares for 2020, when we will continue our work — explained Captain Kanjevac, adding that in 2019, 71 BLU 97 cluster bombs have been found so far in 2019, three amplifiers for the BLU 97 cluster bombs, as well as one 88mm anti-armor charge.