Veterans

July 10, 2012

7th Dive Detachment helps preserve history at USS Arizona

by 2nd Lt. Lauren Looper
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Army photograph by 2nd Lt. Lauren Looper

Divers from the 7th Dive Detachment, 65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, prepare to head beneath the waters of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to inspect and tour the USS Arizona Memorial, June 28, 2012.

The USS Arizona Memorial is one of America’s greatest historical landmarks.

The sunken ship is a tomb and the waters surrounding it are restricted. Diving at the memorial is a rare and special privilege, given only on special circumstances and only to the most experienced of divers.

So it was an honor when the 7th Dive Detachment, 65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, had the opportunity of diving there, June 28.

“I’ve been diving a lot and you just felt the weight of World War II on your shoulders under the water,” said Lt. Col. Darman Place, battalion commander for the 65th Eng. Bn., summarizing the event.

Army photograph by Pfc. Caleb Whisman

SFC Beau Woodcox (Master Diver), 1st Sgt, 7th Dive Detachment, 65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, supervises entry of divers into the water next to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, June 28, 2012.

The dive served as the culminating event for the detachment’s sergeant’s time training. On the days leading up to the dive, Tuesday and Wednesday consisted of classes, as well as inspections of the supports for the USS Arizona.

The structure must be inspected every 10 years in order to ensure that it is safe and stable. The training at Pearl Harbor was mutually beneficial to the National Parks Service and the 7th Dive Detachment. The National Parks Service saved money by not having to contract the work out and the Detachment received useful training and the opportunity of a lifetime.

The Detachment’s young divers benefit from this kind of training. Army Divers are in the unique military occupational specialty 12D, whose duties include inspecting and cleaning watercraft propellers and hulls, patching damaged watercraft hulls, salvaging equipment, patrolling the water, helping with underwater construction of piers and harbor facilities, and surveying rivers, beaches, and harbors for underwater obstacles.

Jobs such as the inspection of the USS Arizona are technical and require that soldiers learn about scuba diving as well as how to weld, cut, use power tools and use explosives underwater. Young divers learn these skills during their entry level dive training, but master the trade through mentoring from 1st Class Divers and Master Divers.

“We’ll send one experienced diver down and one new diver down,” explained SFC Beau Woodcox (Master Diver), first sergeant of the 7th Dive Detachment. “He’s [new diver] getting training the whole time we’re gathering good information for the park service. They [experienced divers] are inspecting the piles; making sure they’re going to last longer. As they are doing that they are showing the new divers exactly what to look for and they’re going through the class they did on Tuesday and Wednesday.”

Army photograph by SSgt Brandton Rohde

SFC Andrew Harrison, Diving Supervisor, 7th Dive Detachment, 65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, dives at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, June 28, 2012.

After the inspections, the detachment was able to relax and take in the momentousness of touring the USS Arizona underwater.

“When you get to some parts of the vessel you can see where some of the bombs made impact with the ship and you can get a sense of how much damage was done to that ship,” said SSgt. Brandon Rohde, 1st Class Diver, 7th Dive Detachment. “It was pretty cool just to get to dive the Arizona.”

It was a well-earned reward for a hard working and dedicated unit.

“The 7th Dive Team is an amazing unit that does just about everything we do on land, underwater,” said Lt. Col. Darman Place, Battalion Commander, 65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command. “It’s no surprise that they were called out here to do this work. They are widely regarded as the best dive unit in the Army and are certainly on par with anything the Navy has to offer.”

Army photograph by 2nd Lt. Lauren Looper

Members of the 7th Dive Detachment, 65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, prepare to dive down to inspect the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, June 28, 2012.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>