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Navy prepares for scenario where port is damaged and needs repair

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Posted at 1:59 PM, Aug 12, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Navy Sailors are holding a large-scale exercise Thursday to prepare to repair a damaged port, either by natural disaster or some kind of enemy action.

"Like any high performing team, you have to practice and be proficient in the activities you perform, so that's what we're doing here," said Rear Adm. Chris Asselta, Deputy for Naval Construction Force, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.

News 3 observed the exercise at JBLE Little Creek-Fort Story on Thursday. Some Sailors are assessing damage and repairing a pier, so ships can dock and it can function. "We bring a trained team the skilled tradesmen with the right tools to get the job done," said Lt. Kyle Costa.

Others are searching the water for any hazards. "Something's in the way. We have to go down there. We look it. We do a survey. We find out exactly what it is and we come up with a plan to raise and move it, so we can still use the port facility as designed," said Cmdr. Steven Cobos.

Anything explosive is taken care of by Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal; while a crane lowers items to rebuild a pier if necessary. "It's definitely been all-hands-on-deck. This is primetime to show our efforts and what we train for," said Lt. Jason Burke.

It's training the Sailors can use around the world. "We have to make conditions are real as we can, so that when our men and women go overseas and have to perform this, they're the best trained and most ready they can be," said Asselta.

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