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    Rendering CSS Georgia Safe

    CSS Georgia

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Jesse Hyatt | 150709-N-XJ695-063 SAVANNAH, Ga. (July 9, 2015) Navy Diver 1st Class Spencer Puett, a...... read more read more

    SAVANNAH, Ga. - Navy explosive ordnance disposal technicians perform some of the most harrowing, dangerous work in order to keep others from harm’s way, and they do so in every environment.They’re trained to disarm improvised explosive devices, neutralize chemical threats, and render safe nuclear weapons. They are the gold standard of the bomb squad world.

    Maintaining such credentials requires the highest commitment and readiness from these Sailors: it is their ability to perform their job anywhere, anytime. Whether jumping out of plane in a combat zone, diving underwater in a foreign port or handling a threat right here in the U.S., Navy EOD techs are prepared for whatever the mission calls for.

    The EOD techs from EOD Mobile Unit Six detachment Kings Bay, Ga., are working to recover portions of history from the sunken Civil War ironclad CSS Georgia in Savannah, Ga. The Georgia was scuttled by her crew in the Savannah River in 1864 to avoid capture by the Union Army.

    “EOD Mobile Unit Six Detachment Kings Bay is partnered with Navy Divers from Mobile Diving Salvage Unit Two to form a joint task element,” said Senior Chief Explosive Ordnance Technician Richard A. Bledsoe, who is originally from Spartanburg S.C. “EOD's role is to safely recover all Civil War era ordnance, to include four cannons.”

    Their current mission shows off the Kings Bay techs’ unique training in a truly unique setting, but for these Sailors it is just another day on the job.

    “This is the average job,” Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class Kyle Masur, originally from Aurora, Ill. “There is unexploded ordnance that needs to be safely handled and rendered safe. It just happens to be underwater.”

    The team’s steady progress can make it easy to forget that these Sailors are diving into a muddy river with nearly zero visibility and a fast current, all the while attempting to plan for the unpredictable summer weather of coastal Georgia.

    “The job is moving along well,” Masur said. “Weather delays are slowing us down but by no means stopping operations.”

    Georgia must be removed completely to make way for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, or SHEP, a beneficial and commerce-boosting project to allow larger ships to use the Port of Savannah.

    “The SHEP will create economic opportunity not only across Georgia, but throughout the Southeast,” said Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. “We’re grateful for our federal partners and their efforts thus far and will continue to work with them to ensure that their commitment is fully funded and reflects the importance of this project to the nation.”

    When planning for the salvage of Georgia, Navy EOD was the only option to call on. Not only is Georgia considered a captured enemy vessel, which by maritime law makes it U.S. Navy property, but Navy EOD is the only military branch with the right skill set.

    “Navy EOD is the premier EOD force in the United States military,” Bledsoe said. “Out of the four services Navy is the only one to carry an underwater diving capability.”

    The historical importance of what these Sailors are doing could easily be forgotten with such challenging work everyday, but not for this group.

    “It's such an amazing experience to be part of the recovery efforts of the CSS Georgia knowing that we are raising artifacts that have been sunk for over 150 years,” Bledsoe said. “It will be very exciting to see it in a museum one day.”

    U.S. Navy EOD is the world's premier combat force for countering explosive hazards and conducting expeditionary diving and salvage.

    For more news from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2, visit www.navy.mil/local/eod2/.

    For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element, East, visit www.navy.mil/local/pacennorfolk/.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 07.20.2015
    Date Posted: 07.20.2015 12:20
    Story ID: 170534
    Location: SAVANNAH, GA, US 

    Web Views: 929
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