Page 38: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (January 2016)

Ship Repair & Conversion Edition

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Salvage Masters

Last month we were offeed an in-depth discussion on marine salvage with Captain Gregg

W. Baumann, U.S. Navy, Director of Ocean Engineering, Supervisor of Salvage and Diving.

Captain Baumann and his team have a long history regarding dif? cult missions accomplished, including most recently the location and ? lming of the lost TOTE containership El Faro.

(Courtesy of U.S. Navy)

By Greg Trauthwein engineering services, and our world-wide, underwater ing support and salvage capabilities as a national level

What is the scope of the responsibility of the hull cleaning services for ? eet vessels. Our facilities ? rst responder. Providing all of these services on a daily

Supervisor of Salvage & Diving; Director of include a headquarters of? ce, eight ESSM warehouses basis so that the Navy ? eet can maintain its strong mili-

Ocean Engineering?

and support centers around the world, a Deep Ocean tary presence at sea and keeping our sailors, airmen, The responsibilities of the Supervisor of Sal- Search and Recovery warehouse and engineering facil- soldiers, marines, and guardsmen safe is what drives vage & Diving; Director of Ocean Engineering (SUP- ity in Maryland, and diving services support of? ces in me each and every day. However, meeting all of these

SALV) include being the Center of Excellence for Virginia, California, Hawaii, Japan, and Bahrain. Our challenges with limited budgets and resources, requires diving for the Department of Defense (DoD), the sys- inventory of search equipment, diving support mate- making dif? cult decisions to keep the war? ghter pre- tem safety certi? cation authority for DoD diving and rial, oil spill recovery equipment, and spares total more pared and safe while still operating in a dif? cult ? scal manned hyperbaric equipment, the technical authority than 30,000 items, more than 500,000 sq. ft. of facili- environment. Helping our forces accomplish their mis- for military diving equipment, the technical authority ties, and a world class diving and equipment research sions safely and effectively is the reward for our team’s for underwater ship’s husbandry repairs & inspections, facility. SUPSALV maintains national mission assets hard work and diligent efforts.

and salvage; By authority of the “Salvage Facilities of search and recovery systems with capabilities rang-

For this interview, we are interested to focus

Act” (10 U.S.C. 7361-7364) SUPSALV provides sal- ing from shallow water to 20,000 ft. that include the on salvage and diving safety. Given that scope, vage facilities for public and private vessels and pro- Towed Pinger Locators, towed Side Scan Sonars, and could you share a ‘case study’ or two which vides Admiralty legal support to settle claims for sal- Remotely Operated Vehicles. Additionally, we main- best exempli? es the capability of your of? ce?

vage services rendered by the Navy. Within the context tain three worldwide commercial salvage services con- of this authority, SUPSALV provides for the equipping tracts for which we can immediately surge in personnel and maintenance of a national salvage capability for and equipment. Our annual average operating budget First, I’d site two recent marine incidents. use in peacetime, war, or national emergency. is approximately $110-120M, but increases signi? cant- The ? rst is the M/V El Faro which went missing on or ly when we conduct large reimbursable salvage and oil about Oct. 1 in the Bahamas. The National Transporta- spill operations. The value of our non-facility related tion Safety Board (NTSB) in the conduct of their safety

I would like to put your of? ce into scope. inventory is in excess of $110M. investigation deemed they needed SUPSALV’s experi-

Please give an overview of the personnel and ence and resources. With our long standing working re- physical assets under your guidance.

lationship, we quickly partnered and developed plans to

We understand that you assumed this post in

October 2014. A little more than a year into SUPSALV has more than 565 military, civil search for, locate, conduct a Side Scan Sonar survey of the position, what do you ? nd most rewarding? servants, and full time contracted employees support- the accident area, video document the ship, and retrieve

The most challenging?

ing our Washington, District of Columbia headquarters the ship’s Voyage Data Recorder (VDR). Utilizing our of? ce, our Naval Experimental Dive Unit research lab- 20,000 ft. Side Scan Sonar “ORION”, our 20,000 ft. oratory in Panama City, Florida, our deep ocean search What is most rewarding and most challeng- Remotely Operated Vehicle “CURV”, and the Military and recovery equipment program, our Emergency Ship ing is one in the same. Speci? cally, SUPSALV is the Sealift Command’s ocean going tug USNS Apache (T-

Salvage Material (ESSM) warehouse system, diving backbone for providing the U.S. Navy ? eet with div- ATF 172) we mobilized and satis? ed three of the four 38 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • JANUARY 2016

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