Army Corps of Engineers supports Baltimore bridge recovery efforts

by Vern Evans

More than 1,100 Army Corps of Engineers engineering, construction, contracting and operations specialists will take part in recovery efforts and clearing debris following the bridge collapse in Baltimore, Maryland, according to a statement from the Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday.

The Army Corps of Engineers will lead the efforts to clear the federal channel as a part of federal, state and local response efforts, according to the Corps. Remotely operated vehicles and sonar will be used by the Corps, along with the debris removal vessel Reynolds, which patrols the waters of the Baltimore Harbor for drift and debris that could be hazardous to navigation.

Hydrographic and topographic surveying will also take place via the 61-foot survey vessel Catlett, the Corps said.

“Our thoughts are with those impacted by the tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge,” said Col. Estee Pinchasin, the Baltimore District Commander, in a statement. “Our Emergency Managers are closely monitoring the incident and coordinating with partner agencies for any potential support requests.”

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, which spanned the harbor of Baltimore, Maryland, collapsed early Tuesday morning. The Baltimore City Fire Department said a container ship rammed into a support beam, which caused the bridge to collapse. Six construction workers who were on the bridge at the time of the incident are presumed dead, according to the Associated Press.

The Army Corps of Engineers are not the only military responses to the bridge collapse. As initial news of the collapse spread, Coast Guard stations Curtis Bay and Annapolis responded with search and rescue crews. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City also moved into the area.

Zamone “Z” Perez is a rapid response reporter and podcast producer at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.

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