Immediate Openings!

VRHabilis LLC has openings for fully qualified EOD/UXO/Surface Supplied Divers. We have projects that extend through most of this year. Please send us your resume if you are interested. (Please do not use the comment box on this post to provide your employment information.)

Current Projects

It’s Spring and VRH is on the move!

Blossom Point has started! It’s great to have Kevin M, Tony K, David D, and Brian W back! Welcome to the team Taylor K!

Also Lake Erie has begun! We have Mark M, Heath N, Kris H, and Rusty U returning! Michael D, Steve T, John S, and Steve W are new to the crew!

Picture: Lake Erie April 2012

VRHabilis in the News

Impromptu Fundraiser Nets Over $1,000

From Martha’s Vineyard Times:

The Island premiere of “Act of Valor,” a newly released movie that portrays the real life challenges of NAVY SEALS prompted an idea that will benefit the Navy Seal Foundation (NSF), which provides immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families.

Island resident Tom Rancich, a former Navy Seal and Elliot Adler, a former Navy bomb technician, co-owners of VRHabilis, a company that specializes in cleaning former munitions sites, collected money at the movie opening for NSF. 2022 The men raised more than ,000. They said their company will match that amount.

For more information go to the

About VRHabilis

VRH Heads to 2nd Annual TVBA Trade Show

It is that time of year again! The management team travelled to Knoxville, Tennessee to represent VRHabilis at the Tennessee Veterans Business Association (TVBA) trade show.

The TVBA is a wonderful organization that brings together companies and veterans from all over the U.S. in hopes to find work for veterans. It was established to help veterans get on their feet and assist them in discovering ways to put their skills to good use. They give veterans the tools to allow them to showcase their experience.

This year marked the second annual TVBA trade show and VRHabilis is a Diamond Sponsor. VRH returned this year because it is an extremely beneficial way to meet with other companies that could be potential partners and meet veterans who are looking for work.

The TVBA’s mission statement is “ [to] provide entrepreneurship training, business development assistance, and networking opportunities to military veterans and their families. We also provide assistance in finding rewarding employment to all veterans, and support the work of both public and private sector organizations who offer charitable support to current service members and veterans.” VRH has a goal to find veterans who can contribute to the company and be there as they rapidly develop. Both the TVBA and VRH have similar objectives and is why VRHabilis will continue supporting TVBA in the future. The success and enlightening experiences are impossible to pass up!

About VRHabilis

VRHabilis at the TSS Conference in Dallas

Six members of the VRHabilis management team attended the recent Army Training Support System (TSS) Workshop in Dallas, TX. Despite the 110 degree weather, the group stayed cool manning the VRHabilis booth in the Exhibit Hall. Old friendships were renewed and new contacts were made. Attendees were fascinated with the underwater UXO work we do and had fun picking up the 45 pound dive helmet and imagining what it would be like to wear it through a work day. See you next year, TSS!

Tom Rancich, Scott Alogna, Dave Hayner with VCSG, Elliott Adler and Ron Madden
VRHabilis in the News

Fellow Martha’s Vineyard veterans lend Jared Meader a helping hand

By Janet Hefler of the Martha’s Vineyard Times:

Last week veteran Jared Meader of Vineyard Haven experienced [the] “band of brothers” bond first-hand when fellow veterans Tom Rancich and Elliott Adler stepped up with a $5,000 loan to stop foreclosure proceedings on his home….

Mr. Meader shared his frustration and despair about possibly losing his home at a recent veterans’ support group meeting run by Tom Bennett, the associate executive director and senior clinical advisor at the Island Counseling Center.

Afterwards, Mr. Rancich pulled Mr. Meader aside and said he would talk to his business partner about helping the Meaders out.

“Tom said, hey, this isn’t charity; we all hit hard times, and I’m not going to see another veteran lose his house,” Mr. Meader recalled.

Mr. Rancich is a U.S. Navy veteran who spent part of his career as a SEAL dealing with disposal of unexploded bombs. He and his business partner Elliott Adler met in the Navy as classmates in explosive ordnance school.

After retirement from their military careers, Mr. Rancich and Mr. Adler started their own company, VRHabilis, in 2007. The “VR” stands for “veteran run,” and “habilis” is Latin for “work.”

Mr. Rancich said after he left the veterans’ support group meeting, he shared Mr. Meader’s story with his partner.

“Why don’t we help?” Mr. Adler immediately responded.

“I went to Jared and told him, we’re not a mega-corporation, but we’ll be damned if we’ll see you and your wife and kids put on the street for $5,000,” Mr. Rancich said. “And what we’d like to do is extend to you a loan for that amount, get you current, get the bank off your back and allow you to have a little breathing room, so you can have a chance to succeed.”

On May 5 he put a cashier’s check for $5,000 in Mr. Meader’s hands. The next day Mr. Meader paid his back mortgage payments to Bank of America and put a halt to foreclosure proceedings scheduled for May 18.

“I think that if I had not known Jared through Tom’s group, that would have been an impossible offer to make,” Mr. Rancich said. “But since we’ve sat there and cried at the table together, I was able to make the offer, and he was able to accept it in the vein that I was extending it, which was look, you’re a brother in arms, and one of our company’s core values is to try to help out disabled veterans.”

Challenges for returning vets

Mr. Meader and Mr. Rancich stopped by The Times office last week to share their story. Mr. Meader said he didn’t mind going public with it, in the hope that it would bring to light the problems that some returning veterans face, especially those with disabilities.

“One of my soap box issues, and this is repeated throughout our history, is the country is perfectly willing to go to war without an appropriate safety net for the guys coming back,” Mr. Rancich said. “And you just see an enormous divorce rate, an enormous alcoholism rate, and an enormous suicide rate because civilians are of the opinion that you have to have fought in the Battle of the Bulge or something like that to have post-traumatic stress.”

VRHabilis provides military range management, remediation, and emergency response. The company is currently under contract to help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in its survey and cleanup of World War II-era munitions from former practice sites along Martha’s Vineyard’s south shore.

Mr. Rancich and Mr. Adler share a kinship with disabled vets, since both of them qualified for that category from injuries during their years of service.

Mr. Rancich broke his neck and back in a helicopter crash in 1997. He said that because of superior care he received from therapists on the SEAL team, he was able to continue to serve out his 20 years.

“So one of our company’s goals is to take guys with traumatic brain injuries or missing limbs and use adaptive technologies or adaptive strategies to employ them in fields that they want to work,” Mr. Rancich said.

There’s lots more — read the full article at the MV Times website.

VRHabilis in the News

VRHabilis speaks at underwater munitions conference

Tom Rancich, co-founder and CEO of VRHabilis, LLC, wrote an abstract that was selected for presentation at the Third International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions in Sopot, Poland, April 12-15, 2011. Here is the abstract as it appears in the official program:

Underwater Munitions Location, Mapping, Analysis and Removal

VRHabilis Diving Department is comprised of former US Navy Deep Sea Divers, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians, and US Navy Special Warfare (SEAL) and Surface Warfare personnel. VRHabilis has been conducting operations to locate, map, analyze and remove unexploded ordnance from rivers, lakes, tributaries and coastal oceans around the United States since August of 2008. In that time, VRHabilis has removed thousands of pieces of ordnance and analyzed hundreds of underwater acres of ordnance pollution.

Treatise: Underwater ordnance presents a unique set of challenges, as well documented and understood by members of the International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions (IDUM). VRHabilis understands this unique set of challenges and has successfully operated with them over the last four years. The reason that VRHabilis has been successful in our endeavors is that our personnel have over 300 years of combined experience operating in every type of maritime environment completing extremely complex operations. That experience is critical for the following reasons:

  1. The trend in the United States is to treat the underwater UXO problem the same as the land problem. This is fundamentally flawed. Not only must underwater sites be treated differently than land sites, but each underwater site must be treated differently, bringing to bear all possible solutions to develop the best course(s) of action. Though many sites will have similar assets applied to the solution, there will be no cookie cutter solution. Due to the dynamic nature of the underwater environment, an underwater UXO operation is distinctly unique from a land operation. UXO discussion on point one will juxtapose the VRHabilis Humpback Bridge Emergency Response with the Alderwood Lake Underwater UXO Sweep.
  2. As the environment is dynamic so must be the solution. Flexibility in planning and execution of the production operation is a necessity in underwater UXO activities. That fact requires a different type of work force; one trained and encouraged to innovate and keen to be involved in the planning process. Discussion on point two will be analysis of deep water operations off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.
  3. The problem facing IDUM is a production problem; a production that must be safe, efficient, cost effective, and beneficial. The underwater UXO defense explosives, i.e., mines, in military operations. That expertise must be balanced with professionals with production experience. Discussion on point three will juxtapose shallow water mine operations in Desert Storm with the Martha’s Vineyard Time Critical Removal Action. The full development of this abstract will compile, analyze and compare years of successful experience in underwater operations and UXO removal. At the conclusion the audience will have a better understanding of problems encountered throughout the planning and execution of underwater UXO removal actions and subsequent solutions.

For more information and the other abstracts presented at the Underwater Munitions dialogue, download a PDF of the official program. Mr. Rancich’s abstract appears on page 22. We will publish a copy of the full speech as soon as it is available.

VRHabilis in the News

VRHabilis called to identify rusted cannon shell

From the Martha’s Vineyard Times:

Alec Gale dredged up more than mollusks off Lobsterville Beach in the Martha’s Vineyard town of Aquinnah Wednesday. The fisherman found a rusted 40-millimeter cannon shell of the type used by World War II era aircraft.

Mr. Gale brought the shell to the dock in Menemsha Harbor, left it on a shed near the Texaco gas station and called police with news of his catch. Chilmark Police Sergeant Jonathan Klaren called Tom Rancich of West Tisbury.

Mr. Rancich is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, who spent part of his career as a Navy SEAL dealing with disposal of unexploded bombs. Mr. Rancich’s company, VRHabilis, is currently under contract to help the US Army Corps of Engineers in its survey and cleanup of World War II era munitions from former practice sites along the Island’s south shore.

When someone finds a bomb, authorities here notify Mr. Rancich, who determines whether the object is safe to move and store, or whether it is a live bomb that requires a controlled detonation.

After receiving a photo from Officer Klaren, Mr. Rancich advised him not to move the shell, which he later identified.

“The cartridge was sealed and intact, although the nose cone was seriously deteriorated,” Mr. Rancich wrote in a report to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Mr. Rancich moved the cannon shell to a fenced-off location on the beach. That evening, the State Police bomb squad arrived and destroyed it in a controlled explosion.

Mr. Rancich said that although the area off Lobsterville was not used for training purposes, anecdotal reports from local fishermen are that there has been WWII airplane wreckage discovered in that area.

Read the full article.

VRHabilis in the News

VRHabilis tapped to present abstract

From the Martha’s Vineyard Times:

VRHabilis, a disabled veteran-owned company with offices in Vineyard Haven, has had an abstract selected for presentation at the Third International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions, to be held in Sopot, Poland, April 12-15.

The Third International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions will serve as a premiere global forum for underwater munitions information exchange on the topics of policy, science, technology, and economics of investing in our marine resources, according to a press release.

VRHabilis is currently working in coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers to locate and remove World War II era training ordnance from the beaches and waters of Martha’s Vineyard.
Read the full article.

VRH Friends & Family

Pretty in Pink

In honor of all those we’ve known and those we don’t who are struggling with breast cancer, our guys took a minute out of their busy day to show their colors and support.