Louisiana Guard Airlifts Sandbags in Oil Spill Response
By Army Spc. Christopher L. Foster
1021st Engineer Company
BURAS, La., May 18, 2010 The Louisiana National Guard’s 843rd Horizontal Company and 2225th Multi-Role Bridge Company, 205th Engineer Battalion, started joint operations with 1st Battalion, 244th Aviation Regiment by filling one of 16 breaches spanning more than seven miles from Pelican Island to Scofield Island near Empire, La., yesterday.
Louisiana National Guard soldiers conduct around-the-clock sling loading operations to prepare and deliver sandbags to a staging area, where they will be airlifted by UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to fill breaches on Pelican and Scofield islands in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Christopher L. Foster
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Operations consist of filling large sandbags on the ground and airlifting them with UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to repair gaps caused by coastal erosion as part of efforts to mitigate effects from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The soldiers on the ground are filling as many sandbags as possible to stay ahead of the airlifts.
“With 24-hour, on-the-ground operations, I am confident that my troops will get the job done quickly and efficiently,” said Army 1st Lt. James T. Gabler of Metairie, La., officer in charge of sling operations.
The 2225th assisted in placing the sandbags and recovering the sling cables used to haul the large sandbags.