Oh buoy! Soldiers anchor vessel for hurricane season

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --

The 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) conducted hurricane preparation exercises at Third Port at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Aug. 22, 2017.

With hurricane season on Virginia’s heels, Soldiers assigned to the 7th Trans. Bde. (Ex.) worked together towing and rigging a Landing Craft Utility vessel in preparation for severe weather that could impact Third Port’s 60 vessels.

“This towing system will allow the LCU to be safely towed and connected to an anchored buoy within the James River Reserve Fleet,” said U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Terry Lee Senn, 73rd Transportation Company, 10th Trans. Battalion, 7th Trans. Bde. (Ex.) tug vessel master. “Moving the LCUs from Third Port will also allow the installation to mitigate any damage to other vessels or pier structures inside the port due to severe storms in the area.”

Senn led the Soldiers through each phase of rigging the vessel out near the James River Reserve Fleet, helping to prepare them for possible weather situations, whether downrange or at home station. “We like to live by the motto, ‘train as you would fight,’” said U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Bell, 10th Trans. Btn., 7th Trans. Bde. (Ex.) maritime operations officer. “We practice these operations to ensure the Soldiers are confident in their skills in case of real-world scenarios.”

Third Port offers a unique training environment due to the isolated areas around it. As a result, Soldiers can practice providing safe harbor for the watercraft fleet in a deep-water port, lessening the impact on the 40-acre pier complex.

According to Senn, training during calmer weather helps Soldiers master the skills needed to connect the vessel to the buoy. Creating more complex training situations allows Soldiers to practice completing the task through various environmental factors.

“By conducting these rehearsal exercises, we can validate the concept for the vessel evacuation plan,” said Senn. “We can also train our Soldiers to be able to work through any extreme weather that may impact JBLE.”

Through combined training efforts, the 7th Trans. Bde. (Ex.) can ensure their resources, vessels and Soldiers are safely prepared for whatever weather Virginia may send their way.

Photos

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U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) use a Large Tug Boat to tow a Landing Craft Utility vessel to the James River Reserve Fleet during a training mission at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Aug. 22, 2017. The Soldiers are using this experience to prepare during hurricane season, which could impact operations at Third Port. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Kaylee Dubois)

U.S. Army Spc. Kayla Pfertsh, 73rd Transportation Company, 10th Trans. Battalion, 7th Trans. Brigade (Expeditionary) leading seaman, secures a Landing Craft Utility vessel to a Large Tug Boat during a training mission at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Aug. 22, 2017. After towing the LCU out to the James River Reserve Fleet, the Soldiers connected it to an anchored buoy as a safety precaution during severe weather. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Kaylee Dubois)

U.S. Army Cpl. Neten Shrestha, 93rd Transportation Company, 10th Trans. Battalion, 7th Trans. Brigade (Expeditionary) watercraft engineer, left, and Sgt. Dylan Dixon, 73rd Trans. Co., 10th Trans. Btn., 7th Trans. Bde. (Ex.) watercraft operator, rest on a Landing Craft Utility vessel as it is towed during a training mission at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Aug. 22, 2017. After being towed to the James River Reserve Fleet, the Soldiers connected the vessel to an anchored buoy used as a safety precaution during severe weather. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Kaylee Dubois)

U.S. Army Spc. Thomas Baker, 73rd Transportation Company, 10th Trans. Battalion, 7th Trans. Brigade (Expeditionary) watercraft operator, watches as a crew prepares a buoy during a training mission at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Aug. 22, 2017. Multiple units within the 7th Trans. Bde. (Ex.) trained together to ensure Soldiers within the watercraft field were confident with their skills in case of real-world situations. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Kaylee Dubois)

A buoy assigned to the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) is prepped to harbor vessels during a severe weather training mission at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Aug. 22, 2017. In using the anchored buoys, the 7th Trans. Bde. (Ex.) can protect their resources, vessels and Soldiers during inclement weather. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Kaylee Dubois)

U.S. Army Soldiers and crew members connect a Landing Craft Utility vessel to an anchored buoy during a training mission at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Aug. 22, 2017. Connecting the LCU to the buoy required consistent communication between the vessel master and buoy team to allow a secure connection. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Kaylee Dubois)

U.S. Army Spc. Thomas Baker, 73rd Transportation Company, 10th Trans. Battalion, 7th Trans. Brigade (Expeditionary) watercraft operator, secures the anchor of a Landing Craft Utility vessel during a training mission at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Aug. 22, 2017. By conducting hurricane preparation exercises, Soldiers can practice skills for various weather outcomes, whether downrange or at home station. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Kaylee Dubois)

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