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Underwater Archaeologist Joins Salvage on Dive Training Operations

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Mobile Diving Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 Sailors make a small boat equipped with survey equipment ready for launch.

From the Field:

NHHC underwater archaeologist Dr. Alexis Catsambis recently joined Mobile Diving Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 on a dive training operations conducted on multiple U.S. Navy sunken military craft.

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NHHC underwater archaeologist Dr. Alexis Catsambis joins MDSU-2 on dive training operations conducted on multiple U.S. Navy sunken military craft.

“This is an excellent opportunity for two commands with a shared interest in underwater operations to work collaboratively. MDSU-2 divers are getting the chance to train in a real-world environment and navigate associated challenges such as debris fields and unexploded ordnance, all the while being exposed to the heritage of the U.S. Navy,” said Catsambis.

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MDSU-2 surface supplied dive operations begin.

NHHC, meanwhile, is obtaining precise coordinates and baseline data on the state of preservation of some of the most visited sunken military craft off the Atlantic seaboard.

The NHHC Underwater Archaeology Branch is responsible for the management, research, preservation, and interpretation of the US Navy’s sunken military craft, and the data gathered during the dive and remote sensing exercises provides essential information to ensure the preservation and protection of our maritime heritage. One of the sites under investigation was the wreck of USS San Diego, which is of particular interest to NHHC as there were very few major warships lost by the U.S. in World War I.

The training operation has allowed both partners to build closer ties and enhance their interoperability in order to most effectively work together on future operations such as the recent CSS Georgia and USS Westfield projects.