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Feature Stories

NEWS | March 13, 2018

Divers support Army watercraft at Kuwait Naval Base

By Spc. Samuel Ladd U.S. Army Central

Soldiers of the 74th Engineer Dive Detachment executed vessel inspections and removed debris from boat hulls during underwater operations supporting the 595th Transportation Brigade from March 5-8, 2018, at Kuwait Naval Base, Kuwait.

The divers used scuba gear to accomplish their primary mission: ensuring that watercraft vessels were fully operational and cleared of debris hazards to sustain their availability across the Central Command area of responsibility. 

The vessels inspected and cleaned included everything from landing craft and utility boats, (or LCUs) to a large, floating crane known as a barge derrick crane.

"The inspections dives and video captured on two LCUs, one large tugboat, and a BD crane will provide valuable information to the Army’s watercraft units for sustaining their operational readiness," said Captain Barrett LeHardy, commander of the 74th Engineer Dive Detachment.

Utilizing their scuba assets, the team conducted numerous dives while equipped with waterproof cameras to capture imagery of the vessel hulls and sub-surface components. This allowed the KNB marine surveyor to get “eyes on” the more obstructed portions of the vessels and facilitated a thorough analysis of the condition of the Army’s watercraft components. By providing in-depth photo and video documentation, the 74th Engineer Dive Detachment further enabled the availability of equipment for the 595th Trans. Bde. and other units of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command. 

"Our mission at KNB was a great opportunity for us to implement our vessel inspection and ship husbandry mission areas,” said LeHardy. “We were able to successfully identify potential vessel deficiencies to the watercraft units and provide accurate feedback for verifying the operational readiness of logistic support assets in theater." 

In order to optimize training value during the week-long vessel inspection operation, the 74th Engineer Dive Detachment conducted numerous dive training scenarios to enhance the skills of the team’s first-class dive supervisors.

“Since arriving in theater, this week presented a significant opportunity to challenge our first-class divers in a dynamic training environment and afforded them the opportunity to hone their supervisor skills while managing a scuba side,” said Sgt. 1st Class Micah Sherrod, the senior diving supervisor of the detachment’s operation. “Likewise, this week provided our second-class and salvage divers time in water to gain familiarity on the various running-gear systems attached to the Army’s watercraft vessels.”

Upon successful completion of the vessel inspections, the Army’s watercraft can resume their ongoing operations with a renewed sense of confidence in the condition of their vessels. As a force enabler, the 74th Engineer Dive Detachment remains poised and ready to provide sustainability operations across the Central Command Area of Operations.