Thursday, May 20, 2010

Guard's Shoreline Barrier Construction Progresses

From a Louisiana National Guard News Release

May 20, 2010 - The Louisiana National Guard's construction of the Tiger Dam shoreline protection system near in the southwest pass of the Mississippi River Delta continues to move ahead as an oil spill threatens the Gulf Coast. "Our engineers continue to work to complete this project to protect coastal areas and provide a layered defense to lessen the impact of shoreline oiling," said Army 1st. Lt. Rebekah L. Andersen, platoon leader with the 1023rd Vertical Engineer Company, 528th Engineer Battalion.

The 1023rd, with headquarters in Oak Grove, La., has built nearly two miles of the 7.1-mile barrier to protect the natural marshlands across a beach in the southwest pass as a secondary line of defense to the boom line.

The work site's location requires soldiers to be airlifted in and out daily by UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the 1st Battalion of the 244th Aviation Regiment, based in Hammond, La.

All of the inflatable barrier material and equipment was sling-loaded and dropped in place.

"By being out here day to day and seeing the sand washed up against the dam, we can tell it's working," said Army Spc. Benjamin K. Davis.

This water diversion system, normally used for flood control, replaces sandbags and is made up of a series of interlocking flexible tubes inflated with water to form a temporary dam or levee.

As work crews lay out the Tiger Dam material for assembly and inflation, other crews work pumps to fill the tubular sections with water.

"We just want everyone to know that we're here to do our mission, and we will do it as effectively as possible," Andersen said. "We know that the community is in support of our activities overseas, but it seems a bit more personal when they see us working stateside."

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