Meet the Team

David J. Halmarick

David J. Halmarick

Managing Director and Chairman

Dip Mil Stud (Arts) UNSW

Lt Col (Ret) Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps

Past Fellow Institute of Company Directors

A Duntroon graduate, David served for 26 years in the Australian Army reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1982 in the Ordnance Corps. He has served in a wide variety of staff and regimental appointments involving transport, logistics, facilities planning, resources coordination, procurement, contract administration, officer training and policy development. In the late 1980’s, he was responsible for high level policy development in the field of explosive safety and hazardous goods management and was instrumental in developing Defence policy concerning the rehabilitation of land contaminated by military activity. Over a three year period in Canberra he made a major contribution to the Defence Department's appreciation of problems in this area. In this policy position, which also entailed his membership of the Defence Explosives Safety and Transport Committee, he gained an in-depth awareness of the UXO clearance problem.

 

As a founding Director and Chairman of the Milsearch Board, David is responsible for overall management and direction, as well as marketing and business development in overseas markets. As Managing Director, he has been closely involved in numerous UXO site assessments and clearance operations, both in Australia, Kuwait, Singapore, PNG and Indochina. In the early 1990's, David established a unique working relationship with the Geophysical Research Institute (GRI) of the University of New England which enabled the successful commercialisation of digital magnetometer systems for UXO detection tasks. Working with Dr John Stanley of the GRI, he developed for the first time an objective, measurable and legally supportable approach to UXO site certification based on geophysical techniques. This pioneering work has subsequently led to the utilization of geophysical magnetometry techniques as one of the main stays of UXO search operations through the developed world.

 

The understanding of new technological approaches derived from the close relationship with geophysicists and the industrial decontamination industry has resulted in Milsearch Pty Ltd being one of the foremost UXO companies in the application of geophysical survey techniques to UXO remediation.

 

David has more recently assisted in the field development of the Australian manufactured Minelabs Electronics range of mine detectors. He was responsible for the introduction of innovative Minelabs digital detection technology into Cambodia where it subsequently out performed all other military pattern mine detectors in the identification of minimum metal plastic mines in all types of adverse geological environments.

 

In Indochina, David has established a joint venture EOD company with the Lao Ministry of Defence and in Cambodia, has secured for Milsearch the first formal registration to operate in that country as a commercial de-mining company. Through these initiatives, David has positioned Milsearch as the predominant EOD operator in Indochina.

Key operations members

 
Mike Ransom

Mike Ransom

General Manager,

Milsearch Head Office, Canberra

Member Institute of Explosives Engineers

During 24 years’ service in the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), Mike’s career provided him with extensive experience in aircraft weapons engineering and explosive ordnance disposal. Significant posts held included the Senior Inspector of Explosives in charge of the RNZAF Explosive Inspection unit. This unit was responsible for all EOD training, explosive quality control and audits, explosive breakdown and defect investigation, explosive proof testing and trials, accident investigation of armament and explosive ordnance related incidents, UXO recovery, crashed aircraft UXO render safe procedures, modification and repair of explosive ordnance and licensing of explosive ordnance storage facilities and transportation.

 

As a warranted civilian Department of Labour Explosive Inspector (NZ), further duties included providing EOD support to civilian authorities for the disposal of obsolete Tri-Service Military Explosive Ordnance (EO) surrendered by members of the Public, and also disposal of all commercial time expired and defective explosives from civilian manufacturers. This would occasionally necessitate explosive chemical testing and the requisite chemical neutralisation of unstable explosives.

 

Following the conduct of several UXO clearance operations for Milsearch in Lao PDR during 2004-2005, Mike joined Milsearch’s Head Office on a full time basis in October 2005. Mike has brought his extensive skills to bear in overseeing a number of Australian based UXO assessment, remediation and active range rehabilitation projects utilising both analogue and digital search equipment.

 

Mike has also directed the complex Defence Marrangaroo former RAAF Disposal site remediation’s in 2008-2009, which was the first remediation project of a WW2 Australian Old Chemical Weapons site conducted in Australia since the immediate post war period. This project required the development of detailed and complex interfaces with the Defence Scientific and Technology Organization (DSTO), specialist Defence chemical warfare response elements, the NSW State Emergency Services Organization and Lithgow community elements. The project also required the development of safe work practices compliant with modern day OH & S requirements and environmental goals.

 

The Marrangaroo project provided a solid basis of know-how and experience which Mike has carried forward as project director on the technologically complex two year Defence Columboola Chemical Weapons Destruction Project in south west Queensland. The Columboola project commenced in July 2010 on a former WW2 US Army CW ammunition depot site.

 

Mike was also the central driving force in Milsearch’s certification to the ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001:2007 through Lloyds Register of QA.

Alan McKeown

Alan McKeown

Company Manager - Milsearch Lao EOD Sole Co Ltd, Vientiane, Lao PDR
Regional Manager – Milsearch Pty Ltd

Advanced Diploma in Clearance

Diving Management

Advanced Diploma in Explosives Safety

Certificate III in Frontline Management

Certificate in Vocational Instruction

Ship & Harbour Security (Train the Trainer)

Advanced EOD/IEDD Course

Advanced Clearance Diving Course

Member Institute of Explosives Engineers

With 21 years of service within the Royal Australian Navy and over 15 years of commercial experience in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) field, Alan has the responsibility for the safe professional conduct and financial viability of all Milsearch’s SE Asian projects. He is responsible for marketing the Milsearch product throughout the region with the aim of increasing and just as importantly broadening Milsearch’s client base throughout SE Asia.

 

During his 21 years of service in the Royal Australian Navy, Alan’s duties ranged from Explosive Ordnance Disposal/Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (EOD/IEDD) Team member to EOD/IEDD Team OIC. Alan was employed as the senior EOD instructor at the EOD Section, RAN Clearance Diving School for four years, and has personally instructed the surface EOD, underwater EOD, and the IEDD phases of the School's Advanced and Officer Courses. Alan has been involved in many security operations including IC IEDD Detachment for the Sydney 2000 Olympics and IC of all Navy IEDD Detachments at the 2002 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Alan has taken part in and supervised numerous UXO clearance tasks, both surface and underwater and assisted with disposal of 110,000 of Australia's anti-personnel land mines in accordance with Ottawa Convention.

 

Since leaving the RAN Alan conducted a Merchant Navy ‘train the trainer’ course in ship's and harbour security. He spent ten months in Iraq employed as a UXO II with the Captured Enemy Ammunition (CEA) mission and a further six weeks as a UXO II with a construction contract. In 2005 he was employed as a UXO Diver in Japan conducting a sub-surface clearance of a WWII chemical munitions dumping ground and then as a Field Supervisor in Laos conducting UXO Clearances at the LXML copper & gold project in Sepon. Alan has held positions such as Senior Project Manager Australia, Operations Manager Lao P.D.R. and Country Manager Lao P.D.R. prior to being employed by Milsearch to Manage their Subsidiary Company, Milsearch Lao EOD Sole Co., Ltd. in 2011. He has most recently spent two years back in Australia as the Senior Operations Manager before returning to Lao in 2017 to take up his current position.

Torbjorn Von Strokirch

Torbjorn Von Strokirch

Chief Geophysicist

BSc (Hons) Geology, University of Melbourne

Member Australian Society of Geophysicists

Member Environmental and Engineering Geophysics Society

Torbjorn has some 28 years experience as a geophysicist. He also has experience working as a mineral exploration geologist, financial analyst on advanced exploration and mining projects and has completed studies on diverse topics such as international shipping and global taxation comparisons.

 

Torbjorn has diverse experience working in numerous countries of the world, including Australia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Lao PDR, Mongolia, New Zealand, PNG, Philippines, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, USA and Vietnam.

 

He has worked with a variety of international mining and exploration organizations, including Mobile Energy Minerals, CRA Exploration, Minenco and Rio Tinto Exploration.

 

Following geophysical UXO survey and data interpretation experience gained with the Geophysical Research Institute of the University of New England, Armidale NSW, Torbjorn joined Milsearch as its in-house geophysicist in early 2003 and has since designed and implemented a wide variety of UXO assessments and remediation projects utilizing advanced geophysical techniques for the identification of discrete UXO items and munitions burial pits. He has been instrumental in developing and applying geophysical search techniques on several sites to meet the extremely high standards of search confidence required by the Victorian EPA appointed auditing system. This has included the field proofing of large coil electromagnetic Metal Mapper detector systems manufactured by Milsearch under license from Geometrics Inc of the USA.

 

Other projects with Milsearch include geophysical remediation searches for a variety of clients in NSW, Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria, as well as off-shore tasks for Milsearch in Lao PDR, Vietnam and East New Britain Province PNG. He designed and executed geophysical searches for Old Chemical Weapons at the Defence Marrangaroo Site in 2009 and again at the Defence Columboola site. He is well versed in field data gathering, processing and interpretation of discrete metallic item anomaly data, employing a variety of Geometrics, Geonics, Telemagand Minelabs single and multi-sensor systems. He is particularly experienced in discrete item interpretations within highly magnetic and conductive soil site conditions.

 

Torbjorn has also conducted critical reviews of underwater towed magnetometer surveys for UXO in PNG waters by Fugro Ltd and recently participated as part of the Milsearch-EGS marine survey team conducting extensive towed magnetometer surveys for Grange Resources and the Port of Albany Authority, Western Australia.

Paul Ingerton

Paul Ingerton

Operations Manager - Queensland

Member Institute of Explosives Engineers

RNZAF Armament Technician

Certificate in Aeronautical Engineering – Armament

Advanced EOD - RNZAF

EOD Team Supervisors Course RNZAF

Warranted Department of Labour EOD Operator

Occupational Health and Safety Accident Prevention

Transport of Hazardous Substances

St John’s Senior First Aid

OH&S General Induction for Construction Work in QLD

Throughout his 20 year career within in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, as an Armament Technician, Paul worked predominantly on strike aircraft and associated weapons systems and was the sole armament tradesman involved in the Major NZ Defence Project for the Sky Hawk Aircraft Navigation and Attack System Update. As the manager in charge of Missile Servicing, he gained expert knowledge of air to air and also air to ground missile systems. Other positions held include Management of the Weapons Preparation and Explosives Storage and Manager in charge of the Raumai Air Weapons Range including numerous other Squadron positions. His trade experience along with a 3 year tour with the Royal Australian Navy at HMAS Albatross (NAS Nowra) in NSW, have combined to give Paul an in depth knowledge of the storage, handling and disposal of air delivered weapons, land service ammunition, naval service munitions and commercial explosives. He also has extensive training and experience in sub-surface UXO search techniques.

 

After successfully completing an Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Training Course, Paul qualified as a civilian Department of Labour Explosive Inspector (NZ), which enabled him to provide EOD support to civilian authorities for the disposal of obsolete Tri-Service Military Explosive Ordnance (EO) surrendered by members of the Public and disposal of all commercial time expired and defective explosives from civilian manufacturers. This would occasionally necessitate explosive chemical testing and the requisite chemical neutralisation of unstable explosives.

 

Paul joined Milsearch in February 2004. He has been involved in numerous projects as an EOD Technician and Project Manager throughout Australia. He has worked on several overseas projects with Milsearch, in such areas as PNG and also in Lao PDR, involving working on the Sepon Copper and Gold Mine, the Nam Theun 2 Power Station and the construction of Theun-Hinboun transmission lines. He is trained and is experienced in geophysical digital data capturing techniques and all aspects of integrated Global Positioning Systems. From September 2005, Paul was appointed as the Manager for Milsearch operations in Queensland, where he had responsibility for marketing, business development and search operations within QLD and has also assisted on other Milsearch projects beyond Queensland. Paul also worked as part of the Milsearch controlled chemical weapons destruction program and supplementary geophysical search programs at Columboola in south western Queensland. After a successful period in Lao as the Operations Manager, Paul was appointed as the Country Manager Milsearch Lao EOD Sole Co Ltd, Vientiane, Lao PDR and in 2017 has returned to Australia and is appointed as the Operations Manager for Queensland.

Paul Wheeler

Paul Wheeler

Operations Manager - New South Wales

Member Institute of Explosives Engineers

EOD Field Project Management

EOD Operator, Supervisor and Manager (Equivalent to IMAS Level 4 Operator)

20 years total experience in Australian Army Combat Engineering, EOD and Special Force units, with tours of duty in Iraq, East Timor, Solomon Islands, and Indonesia

Diploma of Public Safety (Explosive Ordnance)

Paul is a highly capable individual with a proven track record in planning and conducting a wide range of operations; including Counter Landmine Warfare, High Risk Search, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD), Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence (CBRND).

Paul has extensive experience in the construction, delivery, validation and assessment of training programs across all these operations both in Australia and overseas. He is also a qualified Workplace Assessor and Trainer.

Paul is self-motivated and has a proven ability to instruct and motivate people of varying capabilities and nationalities, ensuring that the highest possible standards are achieved. He has a high standard of written and verbal communication skills and is experienced in leadership and management of teams under high pressure and risk situations.

Paul completed 20 years’ service in the Australian Defence Force, rising to the position of EOD Trade Manager before starting a new career in the private sector.

Paul joined Milsearch in 2009 as Operations Manager – New South Wales. In that role Paul was responsible for marketing, business development and search operations within that State and for assisting other Milsearch projects beyond New South Wales as required.

In 2009 he was employed on the Marrangaroo Remediation Project, a complex chemical weapons remediation project for the Department of Defence. This project involved remediating numerous large scale ammunition disposal burials at a former RAAF Ammunition Depot site near Lithgow NSW.

More recently from August 2010 to May 2012, Paul was the Explosive Ordnance Project Manager with Milsearch for a complex Defence funded Chemical Munitions Destruction project at the former United States Army’s Columboola Ammunition Depot in South West Queensland. This project required the destruction of 144 sulphur mustard filled WW2 munitions using the latest international controlled destruction chamber technology. Operating in parallel to the primary destruction task, Paul was involved in a supplementary works program to manage the investigation of the remainder of the site. Acting in his capacity as the Project EOD Manager, Paul supervised a detailed geophysical survey of the site (using a combination of both magnetic and electro-magnetic technologies) and finally an intrusive investigation and remediation program.

Paul spent the following 18 months working with SAAB Technologies Australia as the Team Leader, Training Advisor Specialist and Logistics Manager in their Counter IED Division and was responsible for both training ADF personnel prior to deployment and the movement of SAAB assets within Australia to facilitate that training.

He has recently returned to the position of Operations Manager – NSW before commencing a project management role.

Dallas Evans

Dallas Evans

Integrated Management Systems Manager

Member Institute of Explosives Engineers

Diploma of Quality Auditing

Diploma of WHS

Diploma of Public Safety (Explosive Ordnance)

Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

Weapons Intelligence (Allen-Vanguard (formerly HMS Ltd))

Dallas has an established Military background after 21 years of Service within the Australian Defence Force, Army Combat Engineer. He has brought with him his experience in the planning and conduct in a diverse range of operations; including but not limited to CBRND (Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Defence), Military High Risk Engineer Search, Counter IED (Improvised Explosive Device) & Weapons Intelligence (Forensic and Biometric Exploitation), Military Demolitions, DMEO (Disposal of Malfunctioned Explosive Ordnance), and Counter Land Mine Warfare.

 

After separating from the Defence Force and joining Milsearch in 2010, Dallas supported land remediation of UXO within Western Australia. In August of 2010, Milsearch commenced operations on a complex Defence Chemical Weapons Destruction Project in Columboola, South West Queensland, where Dallas assumed the position of Project Site Safety Manager and then appointed as the Project Operations Manager, until Jun 2012.

 

After the Columboola Project, Dallas continued to support Milsearch with land remediation of UXO and transitioned into the Quality Management role assisting Senior Management with a diverse range of administrative duties in support of the Milsearch Quality Management System.

 

In 2014, Dallas was appointed as the Milsearch Pty Ltd, Integrated Management Systems Manager, where he oversees and manages the Company Integrated Management System, ensuring that Milsearch maintains their current certification under the AS/NZS ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems, & Occupational Health and Safety Management OHSAS 18001 AS/NZS ISO 14001.

Mike Skiffington

Mike Skiffington

Special EOD Projects Manager Head Office

Member Institute of Explosives Engineers

EOD Team Leader – New Zealand Army

Advanced Senior Ammunition Technician – New Zealand Army

Officer/SNCO Advanced EOD Course – DEODS UK

National Vocational Qualification – Planning and Management of Munition Clearance Operations - UK

Member Institute of Explosive Engineers

Test Certifier for Explosives – NZDF and ERMA

Site Safe – Supervisor Gold Card

St. Johns Ambulance First Aid Certificate

Confined Space Entry

Victoria OHS Construction Induction

Based in Tauranga, in New Zealand’s North Island, Mike performs the duties as a field Project Manager for Milsearch. He has 20 years military experience as an Ammunition Technician in the NZ Army and as a civilian Explosive Technician at the Royal New Zealand Naval Armament Depot. Since completing his service with the New Zealand Defence Force, Mike has worked in the commercial Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) field.

 

During his service in the NZ Army as a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, his career provided him with extensive training and experience in ammunition management and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (including Biological and Chemical).

 

Mike has also filled several ammunition technical appointments in NZ Defence Force Ammunition Depots progressing from hands-on tasks to Senior Ammunition Technician appointments responsible for the operation of ammunition depot operations. Responsibilities included storage, accounting and management of explosive inventory, inspection of explosives, repair and modification of ammunition, certifying training ammunition as Free From Explosives, trial and proofing of explosives and ammunition, explosive accident investigations and certification (licensing) of explosive facilities.

 

Since being employed by Milsearch, Mike has worked on numerous projects as a project manager and EOD technician in Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands and PNG. In Australia, some of his projects include remediation and clearance of Moorebank Supply Depot, the Ravenhall Prison Project Site, Marrangaroo former ammunition and chemical weapons depot, Stockton Range, Campbell Park former range area, Majura Training Area and Harvey (WA) former infantry live firing training area. Mike was also the Project Manager for the final phases of the Munda Airfield, Solomon Islands UXO Remediation Project. Mike has also conducted several field contamination assessment studies throughout Australia.

 

Currently Mike is fulfilling duties as an EOD Project Manager.

Colleen Murray

Colleen Murray

Office Manager

MYOB Accounting

MYOB Asset Manager

Windows 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, NT

Microsoft Office Applications

Word Perfect

Pastel Ver 5, Ver 6

Quicken – Personal Accounting

Quicken Payroll

QuickBooks – Business accounting

Wagez for Windows

Corel Draw Ver 4 Lotus 123

Interleaf 6 Electronic Distribution

Colleen has some 18 years commercial experience in a variety of fields including secretarial, personal assistant, office management, desk top publishing, Defence related tendering and more recently, office bookkeeping, financial accounting and records management.

 

Included in her experience was some 10 years with the major European shipbuilder Blohm+Voss Australia, where she gained extensive experience in desk top publishing and formatting in support of capital ship tendering for Defence.

 

In 1999 Colleen decided on a career change and applied her clerical/administrative knowledge to become a bookkeeper and finance clerk over an 8 year period with a number of commercial organizations. She joined Milsearch in April 2008 as office manager and bookkeeper. Her duties also include purchasing, equipment import/export and customs liaison, immigration, freight and travel in support of Milsearch’s numerous off-shore projects. Colleen directs the administrative section comprising three personnel.

 

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