Conventional Arming and Disarming
* According to the U.S. Department of State Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, more than 30,000 MANPADS (man-portable air defense systems) have been destroyed since 2003 as part of an international program that involved 30 countries. A July press release described the MANPADS as "foreign, at-risk" weapons and a threat to civil aviation.
* A U.S. quick-reaction force deployed to Papua New Guinea (Bougainville Island) in September to assess unexploded ordnance dangers left over from World War Il battles. The quick-reaction force also deployed in late 2008 and early 2009 to assess and assist with unexploded ordnance clearance at the Chelopechene ammunition storage facility outside Sofia, Bulgaria, where an accident occurred in July 2008. The Bulgarian project was the first use of the reaction force. (See ACT, November 2008.)
* Malaysia took delivery of the first of two diesel submarines in September, supplied by a joint venture involving the French company DCNS and the Spanish company Navantia. The deal, signed in 2002, is worth $972 million and is expected to be completed in 2010 with the delivery of the second submarine. According to DefenseNews, some analysts in Southeast Asia have discussed the need for new confidence-building measures that would help neighboring states avoid rising tensions by preventing accidents or territorial incursions, as there have been growing numbers of submarines in the Straits of Malacca. …