U.S. Department of State
   

Assistant Secretary Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr. Witnesses the Destruction of MANPADS


Village of Lapov dol
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
November 10, 2003

Pictured from left to right: Special Representative Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr., Major General Virgil L. Packett II, U.S. Army Commander of SFOR, two U.S. explosives ordnance demolition specialists and an unidentified American official.Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, who also serves as the Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State for Mine Action, prepares to observe the destruction of some of the obsolete man-portable air defense missiles (MANPADS) belonging to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Assistant Secretary Bloomfield traveled to the village of Lapov dol on November 10, 2003, about an hour drive from Sarajevo, to witness this important demolition that will help to ensure that these missiles, superfluous to the legitimate defense needs of the local authorities, do not pose a threat to civilians in the region or fall into the hands of criminals or terrorist organizations. Bosnia and Herzegovina has committed to destroy its entire stockpile of MANPADS, totaling over 6,000 systems. Over 1,000 missiles were already destroyed prior to Assistant Secretary Bloomfield's visit. One of the responsibilities of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is to help ensure that MANPADS in other countries are not diverted for criminal or other illicit purposes. To learn more about the Bureau's efforts in this regard, visit the website of its Office of Weapons Abatement and Removal at www.state.gov/t/pm/wra.

[Photo courtesy U.S. European Command, November 10, 2003; click photo for larger image.]