Navy Diver 1st Class Joshua Harsh attached
to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit
(MDSU) 2 from Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va., prepares to leave the surface on a salvage dive in the Mississippi River
. MDSU-2 is assisting other federal, state, and local authorities managing disaster and recovery efforts at the site of the I-35 bridge collapse. U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Andrew McKaskle
By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Dave Nagle, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs
President George W. Bush thanked
the divers of Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 on Aug. 21 for their hard work during search and recovery operations at the site of the Interstate 35 bridge collapse here.
President Bush arrived at the 934th Air Reserve Base aboard Air Force One
. Following a briefing on the search and recovery operations with state and federal officials, Bush was escorted to a hangar bay where he met with the divers. He shook hands with each diver, thanking them for their efforts and service.
ï¿½Thank you also for your prayers and the compassion youï¿½ve shown to the families (these past few weeks),ï¿½ President Bush told the divers.
President Bush also posed for a group photo, holding a dive helmet that his father, former President George H. W. Bush also
held in a group photo with another MDSU detachment in 1992. Bush then gave each of the divers a presidential challenge coin before departing, followed by a hearty ï¿½Hoo-Yah America!ï¿½ from the group.
ï¿½It was such an awesome feeling meeting the president,ï¿½ said Navy Diver 1st Class (DSW/SW) Joshua Harsh. ï¿½I was shocked at first, but he was very personable and down to earth. It was a great honor to meet him.ï¿½
MDSU-2, based at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va., has been in Minneapolis since Aug. 6, as part of a larger Department of Defense effort supporting search and recovery efforts at the request of the U.S. Department of Transportation and in support of the Hennepin County Sheriffï¿½s Office.