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Feature Stories

NEWS | June 1, 2024

U.S. Army Divers: Supporting JLOTS Mission off Gaza coast

By U.S. Army Spc. Riley Anfinson

MEDITERRANEAN SEA - U.S. Army diver, Spc. Connor Schloesser, assigned to the 86th Engineer Dive Detachment, 20th Engineer Brigade, stands as a beacon of resilience and compassion during ARCENT’s Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore mission to deliver humanitarian aid. Amidst a constantly evolving environment, he immerses himself in treacherous depths, driven by an unwavering commitment to bring relief and aid to those who need it most.

Throughout this mission, his duties have consisted of repair and salvage operations and the inspection and maintenance of underwater infrastructure. “We have a wide range of tasks that we can assist with, it just depends on where we are needed,” said Schloesser. “We’ve done the hydrographic survey for the location of the [Trident] pier, multiple vessel inspections and patchwork on the causeway sections.”

 

Schloesser explains that being a diver means you are part of a team. “We have a great crew of guys, we’re all very close knit and we all get along well,” said Schloesser. “We all have our certain areas of expertise, if one person is good in one area and another person is good in another area, we just fill in the gaps.” As a skilled welder, he is able to guide his fellow comrades and vice versa.

 

Even in the midst of adverse conditions, Schloesser stays positive and motivated. “I stay pretty motivated; I love what I do, and I think being a diver is definitely worth it.”