Corporate Journey

A once-in-a-lifetime, challenging and rewarding experience, run by professionals at a venue which normally serves as a training center of excellence for the post-conflict security industry.

MAT Kosovo Training Centre

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A Corporate Journey

Cluster Bomb Strike will challenge your team, and is set in an environment that is ‘as real as it gets’ while being safe for training. Groups are briefed on the task and the equipment used to counter a simulated threat, staged in a former war-zone and modelled on what it was really like. The mission is to cross an area, scattered with inert training objects resembling cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war. Surprise scenarios and challenges, which are not part of the pre-mission briefing, are thrown in while the exercise progresses.

What is the Event?

Cluster Bomb Strike will challenge your team, and is set in an environment that is ‘as real as it gets’ while being safe for training. Groups are briefed on the task and the equipment used to counter a simulated threat, staged in a former war-zone and modelled on what it was really like. The mission is to cross an area, scattered with inert training objects resembling cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war. Surprise scenarios and challenges, which are not part of the pre-mission briefing, are thrown in while the exercise progresses.

Depending on your particular design criteria, other unfamiliar and fun activities can be part of your program in Kosovo: explosive demolitions, using disposal tools to disarm an aerial bomb; setting booby traps for your colleagues and ‘friends’, and dealing with a booby-trapped environment that your office colleagues have created for you! Which parts you wish to have added are up to you, and will depend on how they fit with your overall program plan and content of your team’s offsite.

 

Where is the Event Based?

Based in the Balkans, in Kosovo’s western area is the vibrant town of Peja, which sits at the foot of the imposing ‘cursed’ mountains, close to the borders with Albania and Montenegro. In 1999, the town was almost totally destroyed by armed conflict, and its population was driven out.

Peja is where the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) & Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) Training Establishment, a working institution serving the training needs of EOD, ERW, and humanitarian organizations worldwide, is based. The facilities, equipment and infrastructure are in place and as real as it gets anywhere on the planet. The real industry professionals are on site with you, and the scenarios are as close as possible to how things actually were when humanitarian organizations and local volunteers had to clean up after the conflict. Nothing else, anywhere else, will get you closer to the real thing!

The people of Peja are mostly Kosovar Albanians interspersed by some minority communities. Peja has numerous restaurants. They will likely exceed your expectations if you set the benchmark at the Balkan cooking that’s available anywhere in Western Europe. The local beer is brewed in town and known throughout the region. Wine is made locally and is goes down easy. Also, you will be surprised at how inexpensive it is to have a good time out.

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/kosovo/peja
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/kosovo/peja/map

 

How was Kosovo Affected by the Conflict?

In 1999, much of the area around Peja was subject to the laying of landmines in the fields and valleys, numerous booby traps were placed in buildings awaiting the return of the population. A significant threat also came from the air, a result of NATO airstrikes, in the form of large aircraft bombs or more commonly cluster bomb units. Each cluster bomb units typically contained 202 cluster bomblets, and a single aircraft carried four of these units; cluster bomblets had an unusually high failure rate, which meant that live ammunition was scattered throughout the strike areas. These items of unexploded ordnance remain highly unstable. Many thousands of cluster munitions pose a significant threat to life and livelihood in some areas even to this day.

 

This event supports [Praedium Consulting’s / MAT Kosovo’s] Involvement in actual Battle Area Clearance.

Cluster Bomblets:

The core activity of the corporate team-building event is to work through an area which was actually once contaminated by cluster bomb strikes but is now safe. In contrast, one other area very close to the corporate task site still has cluster bombs present and is still a recorded hazardous area. The clearance of the actual hazardous area is tasked to [PCM / MAT Kos], and profits from the corporate event help to fund it. We are of course happy to accept additional donations towards this project if our actual battle-area-clearance operation fits in with your organization’s CSR goals. Remember, our everyday clearance tasks are about giving land back to the community which relies on the productivity of its homeland. Either way, you are supporting socio-economic development goals and have a real, long-term impact on local community life.

What else will we be able to do on the corporate event?

DinaAs well as training to use the equipment and search for ‘targets’ there are numerous other activities which will make the experience unforgettable and rewarding in the time available. Which ones you may wish to add will most probably depend on the overall program and content you may have already in mind for your off-site. These include;

  • Cluster Bomb Strike, The Task – clients are briefed on the task, equipped and then taught how to use locators to search an area for cluster bombs which have been rendered safe, while being instructed and mentored by the professionals. The task involves simulations and scenarios which enhance the experience and challenge the team. We keep track of each sub-group’s score: how many items have been found, and penalties for behavior which would – in a real scenario – have been dangerous, in violation of safety procedures, or potentially lethal.
  • Booby Trap Rooms, The Task – clients are split into groups, each of which are taught to prepare and lay booby traps for the other groups to then encounter when they have to enter the other group’s area and reach a given objective.
  • Landmines and Land Service Ammunition – clients get to learn about the different types of landmines and ammunition types, how they are laid, how they function and what their effects are. There is then a quiz where clients have to name the ordnance by groups and type.
  • Live Explosives Demolitions – clients move to the demolitions range to be taught how to set explosive charges to neutralize hazardous targets, which can include cars, land-service ammunition, or structurally unsound buildings effected by bombing raids. Clients get to fire live the demolitions by remote electronic detonator switches.
  • Disarming an Aerial Bomb – clients have the opportunity to learn and observe how large aerial bombs are made safe by using EOD tools such as the rocket wrench or de-armer.
  • Explosive Detection Dog (EDD) – clients get to work with ‘Dina’ the EDD, working with her to detect explosive devices!
  • Firing Small Arms Weapons – clients are taken to an indoor or outdoor range and fire small arms weapons such as hand guns and rifles.

Frequently asked Questions

  • How to get to Kosovo? There are direct flights to Kosovo from most European countries and generally these flights are inexpensive, especially if booked well in advance.
  • How to get to Peja from Pristina airport? You will be picked up and transported by the organizers, using the same vehicles we use for our training and clearance operations.
  • Who are our hosts? Your hosts are the MAT Kosovo EOD & ERW Training Establishment team, which has both international staff and national staff.
  • Where do we stay when we arrive? There is a choice of two hotels for the duration of your stay and both are excellent. Where you stay depends on your budget or ‘package’, and are as follows:
  • Where can we have class-room or conference room facilities for the rest of the off-site program? If your offsite program includes other indoor sessions already planned by your own offsite manager or HR professional, we can arrange facilities with the appropriate size and layout for you in a bespoke manner well in advance of your arrival.
  • Is Peja safe? Peja is very safe. While there are very few internationals, the people of Peja welcome internationals and respect them and appreciate their visit and contributions to the local economy. We speak from almost two decades of experience in hosting training and operations in the area, which have always included long-term and short-term visitors from all corners of the world and all cultural backgrounds.
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