USA: MDSU Sailors Return from Recovery Mission


Sailors from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 assisted Chilean officials Sept. 28 to locate a Chilean military plane that disappeared off the coast of Chile Sept. 3.

The four-man MDSU 2 team provided underwater vehicle remote environmental monitoring units (REMUs) 100, side scan and video systems. The REMUs 100 uses sonar to form images of the ocean. Small in size, it can be operated with only two people and can be launched and recovered from a small vessel with minimal equipment.

The Chileans had no way of exactly mapping out a whole area like REMUs 100 can,” said Sonar Technician 1st Class Keith Boise, REMUs 100 operator. “The Chilean dive teams could only see a limited area.”

The MDSU 2 team searched more than 460,000 square meters in depths ranging from 30-96 meters.

They spent nearly two weeks working more than 200 hours observing from the REMUs 100, and more than 48 hours went into analyzing sonar and video received from the unmanned vehicle.

The REMUs 100 was able to identify the debris on the ocean floor. From this the Chilean government was able to make informed decisions about future salvage operations.

MDSU 2 Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Alcorn said the mission was seamless. His Sailors were there to support the recovery mission by confirming the location of the wreckage.

“The coordinated efforts between our Department of State and quick response from our Department of Defense and the Chilean embassy were second to none that we have experienced so far,” said Alcorn.

The recovery was a bilateral effort between MDSU 2 and the Chileans.

“Our guys really experienced a warm hand-shake from the Chilean nationals, from the local people all the way up to their military leadership,” said Alcorn. “We hope to support other nations like these in the future; we are here to respond in a time of need.”

MDSU 2 is part of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC). The expeditionary character of NECC forces uniquely positions them to quickly support the nation’s Maritime Strategy with the agility and flexibility needed to provide humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and support to other nations.
Source: navy, October 14, 2011