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Posted 6/27/2012

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By Mark Ray
Afghanistan Engineer District-South

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Six members of a unique Army unit - engineer divers from the 569th Engineer Dive Detachment - recently spent 30 days in southern Afghanistan, conducting underwater surveys to help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan Engineer District-South prepare for major repair projects at Kajaki and Dahla dams.

"We basically conducted two missions at each dam," said 1st Lt. Michael Jappe, who led the team. "We conducted hydrographic surveys, mapping the underwater contours of the reservoirs, and we used a remotely operated vehicle - essentially, an underwater drone - to check the condition of various submerged structures, such as trash racks and inlets for irrigation tunnels."

"The team deployed with an inflatable Zodiac boat," added Staff Sgt. Andrew Miltenberger, the senior non-commissioned officer on the team. "On the Zodiac, we have a sonar system that is linked to a global-positioning system which can produce very accurate underwater topographical maps of the reservoirs."

"The hydrographic surveys allow us to estimate the current volume of the reservoir," explained Nader Noori, project manager for Kajaki Dam. "We have the original survey maps from when the dams were constructed. By comparing the original topography with the dive team

569th Engineer Dive Division Afghanistan Afghanistan Afghanistan Engineer District Army Corps Army Divers army Engineers Dahla Dam deployment inspection soldiers South survey underwater vehicle US Army US Army Corps of egnieners USACE