Army divers repair tsunami damage

| December 2, 2013 | 0 Comments
More than a dozen Soldiers from the 7th EDD, 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, and construction contacters conduct underwater repairs to the tsunami damage at Keauhou Small Boat Harbor, Nov. 4-22. (Courtesy photo)

More than a dozen Soldiers from the 7th EDD, 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, and construction contacters conduct underwater repairs to the tsunami damage at Keauhou Small Boat Harbor, Nov. 4-22. (Courtesy photo)

Staff Sgt. Gaelen Lowers
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

KEAUHOU, Hawaii — More than a dozen Soldiers from the 7th Engineer Dive Detachment, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, and construction contactors from Sea Engineering Inc., conducted underwater repairs on tsunami damage at Keauhou Small Boat Harbor, here, Nov. 4-22.

For the 7th EDD, exercise “Shallow Brown” was an opportunity for the divers to train and remain proficient on one of their wartime missions: performing port construction and the rehabilitation of waterfront facilities. For those who use the harbor, it provides added safety after the March 11, 2011, tsunami.

The 2011 tsunami was caused by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Japan and other islands throughout the Pacific, causing tens of billions of dollars in damage and an estimated 13,000 casualties.

“This is a real-world mission, not just a created training scenario, so we actually have priorities and objectives that must be completed,” said Spc. Caleb Whisman, 2nd class diver, 7th EDD. “We can’t just call it a day, because it’s time or it’s getting late. We have tasks that must be accomplished by the end of each day. We rebuilt their quay wall and pier that was seriously damaged by a tsunami a few years ago. Because it’s real-world, this really shows us what to expect and prepares us well for unfamiliar environments.”

The Soldiers and contractors poured a concrete jacket around exposed steel pilings and repaired the harbor’s bulkhead.

“We are actually able to do real demolition and reconstruction on a facility that needs to be rehabbed, whereas we usually construct a facility, then tear it back it down,” said 1st Sgt. David Chebahtah, a master diver with the 7th EDD. “With this exercise, we are really able to save valuable time and resources. Any time we can get out and do real work, it’s a great opportunity for younger Soldiers to learn.”

Shallow Brown is just one of the many training exercises, both real-world and created-scenario, in which 7th EDD participates throughout the year. These activities keep experienced divers’ knowledge fresh and less experienced divers trained-up for whatever mission comes their way.

 

 

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Category: News, Sustainability, Training

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