07/26/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/26/2020 08:03
NANAKULI, Hawaii (NNS) -- Sailors from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) ONE Companies (CO) 1-3 and 1-5, based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, conducted surface supplied and SCUBA diving operations to remove old conduit, pipe, cable and debris from the reef and waters off Zablan Beach State Park in Nanakuli, Hawaii, July 6-16.
MDSU ONE was tasked by Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) ONE to support Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with the removal of more than 1,500 feet of derelict Fleet Operational Readiness Accuracy Check Site (FORACS) equipment that is no longer required for the Navy's mission. The FORACS equipment was initially installed in the 1960s.
'To comply with the lease agreement between the United States Navy and the state of Hawaii, as well as to ensure we are good stewards to the community, we began this removal project as soon as operationally feasible,' said Dawn Rodes, the FORACS Program Manager. 'Before and throughout the process, we worked with various stakeholders and subject matter experts to ensure we were also in compliance with state and federal environmental regulations.'
The Sailors, working with NAVSEA and coordinating environmental efforts through Commander, Navy Region Hawaii; Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC); the City and County of Honolulu; and local industry partners, removed these items from the waters off Nanakuli to reduce the negative effects on the environment and to help preserve the ecology on the surrounding reefs.
During the mission, MDSU ONE divers utilized underwater hand tools, hydraulic cutters, and exothermic cutting equipment, as well as land based cranes to remove debris from the water.
'The job went very smoothly,' said Lt. Greg Pruett, the company commander of Mobile Diving and Salvage CO 1-5. 'This job was different in that the local community was acutely aware of what we were doing before we even arrived. The community was fully supportive in the Navy returning the area closer to its original state, removing hazards that could affect the divers, swimmers and beachgoers.'
Sailors from MDSU ONE removed more than 30,000 lbs. of defunct equipment and debris off the reef, allowing the delicate ecosystem to renew and regenerate itself.
For more than 40 years, the Sailors of MDSU ONE and MDSU ONE EOD Detachment have been assisting Department of Defense units and Hawaii with cleaning the ocean floor of hazardous material in the state and around the Pacific.
MDSU ONE provides expeditionary and rapidly deployable diving and salvage companies capable of conducting harbor clearance, salvage, underwater search and recovery, and underwater emergency repair operations in the most challenging environments. They are headquartered at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and an integral part of EODGRU ONE.