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Mine Warfare Ships Support Hurricane Katrina Recovery, Relief Efforts

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050910-10
Release Date: 9/10/2005 10:15:00 PM

From Mine Warfare Command Public Affairs

GULF OF MEXICO (NNS) -- Mine warfare ships USS Gladiator (MCM 11), USS Scout (MCM 8), USS Defender (MCM 2) and USS Falcon (MHC 59) are currently working off the coast of Louisiana with the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, helping to clear waterways that may be clogged by debris.

The ships are identifying obstructions so that U.S. Navy and Coast Guard divers can recover them to ensure safe passage.

“We are aware that there are many people in the region who are relying on us to verify that the waterways in and around the Gulf Coast are safe for navigation,” said Capt. Jonathan Tobias, commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron 3 and overall tactical commander for the deployed mine warfare assets.

“We are pleased that the mine warfare community is able to contribute to Joint Task Force Katrina,” Tobias added. “We are able to apply our mine warfare warfighting skills to provide support to the relief efforts by surveying the seaward approaches to the Gulf Coast and offshore oil platforms.

“All of the Sailors involved in this operation are putting forth the same high-level of energy as they would if called to perform their mission in time of war," continued Tobias. "We are only one part of a larger team [of recovery efforts] and we hope we can do our best to contribute to this effort.”

The mine warfare ships are using sonar to hunt for debris. They have already surveyed the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) and are surveying offshore oil and gas infrastructure, to include more than 250 nautical miles of safety fairways and 41 oil platforms.


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