U.S., Indonesia Dive Into Salvage Ops

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Antigua Regional Security Service Ordinary Seaman Julio L. Charles prepares to leave surface to inspect the hull of the Military Sealift Command rescue and salvage ship USNS Grasp (T-ARS 51) on a training dive during Navy Diver Global Fleet Station (ND-GFS) 2008. Grasp and 14 embarked navy divers are on a 90-day deployment to the Caribbean visiting seven island nations to take part in joint diver training. Global Fleet Station's mission is to maintain strong multi-laterial partnerships, support

By Cmdr. Daryl Borgquist, Commander Task Force 73 Public Affairs

Divers from the United States and Indonesian Navies began a six-day diving operation July 21 to survey a wreck in Surabaya harbor as part of joint naval engagement activities (NEA) between the two nations.

A joint diving team will conduct survey dives to identify the sunken vessel and determine potential salvage hazards such as fuel, explosives and dangerous cargo. Once the survey is complete, the diving teams will develop an underwater mechanical demolition plan to raise the vessel and remove it from the harbor.

The joint diving team consists of a detachment of 12 divers from Mobile Diving Salvage Unit 1, based in and embarked on USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50), and an Indonesian Navy (TNI) team of 16 divers embarked on a salvage barge.

Safeguard is one of four ships participating in this year's NEA with . Other ships include USS Tortuga (LSD 46), USS Jarrett (FFG 33) and USS Ford (FFG 54).

NEA is part of an annual series of bilateral maritime training exercises between the and several Southeast Asian nations designed to build relationships and enhance the operational readiness of the participating forces.

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