LENOIR CITY, Tenn., July 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bosnian children and adults are playing soccer on teams sponsored by the same U.S. company that helped clear that land of unexploded bombs, artillery shells, and other explosives.
Sterling Global Operations (SGO), an international stability operations company, is sponsoring youth and adult soccer teams in Glamoc, a town about four hours from Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina's (BiH) capital city.
"It's a treat to see the players enjoying themselves, particularly the kids," said Mike Aramanda, SGO's country manager. Aramanda supervises 15 employees in Bosnia supporting range and furnace operations to recycle or dispose of hazardous surplus ammunition and explosives. About 100 tons of unexploded ordnance were found and destroyed by SGO in the last two years.
"Soccer here is a game, a passion, a pastime and an obsession," Aramanda said. "Before now this area was off-limits. Now you can hear kids yelling and laughing and men challenging each other in a competitive spirit. It's nice to be part of it. "
The 450 square-acre tract of land was from 1997 to 2012 a live-fire and demolition range for bombs, artillery, mortars, and other types of weapons. After a 23-year-old Glamoc resident was injured in an April 2012 explosion, the area was cleared by BiH explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) units with SGO support.
"SGO has also had a role in soil and water contamination testing conducted at the site by the Bosnian government," Aramanda said. "SGO shared its environmental remediation procedures with BiH EOD units. After clearance, tests showed within-limits readings similar to those of nearby non-military areas."
The SGO-sponsored soccer teams, made up of 15 players each, compete in their respective youth and adult leagues. SGO supplies them with uniforms and equipment.
"We go to every game we can," Aramanda said. "We try to have at least one SGO person there for every game. Two of our goals at SGO are making the world a safer place and helping to build communities both at home in the U.S., and abroad. This is part of fulfilling those goals. Plus, it's fun to watch."
Sterling Global Operations employs approximately 3,500 professionals worldwide. The company serves customers with munitions response; intelligence support; logistics; security operations and other services in some of the world's most austere and hostile environments. The company's website is www.sterlinggo.com.
SOURCE Sterling Global Operations