US Navy Tests Its Oil Spill Response Skills

The U.S. Navy’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) participated in an underway oil spill response exercise with USNS Catawba (T-ATF-168) in Bahraini waters, Nov. 6-10.

The exercise was held to test the Navy’s capability to respond to an emergent oil spill from a U.S. Navy ship. SUPSALV maintains and regularly exercises salvage and oil spill response equipment stored at bases around the world.

“Part of the SUPSALV mission is to provide in theater mission response to 5th Fleet within 48 hours of notification,” said Mike Dean, SUPSALV deputy director. “This training exercised our capabilities to respond to major near-shore and off-shore oil spills.”

During the exercise, a deep water oil containment boom with a 5,000 pound mooring system was deployed and recovered to and from Catawba.

A skimming system was also utilized as part of the exercise. The system consists of a specially designed inflatable collection mechanism coupled with a hydraulically operated skimmer that pumps collected oil into a containment bladder.

Other participants in the exercise were 5th Fleet, the Bahraini Coast Guard and elements from Navy Region Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia.

The Office of the Director of Ocean Engineering, Supervisor of Salvage and Diving is part of the Naval Sea Systems Command and is responsible for all aspects of ocean engineering, including diving, salvage, in-water ship repair, towing and heavy lift, and open ocean oil and hazardous material spill response.

Press Release, November 22, 2013; Image:

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Posted on November 22, 2013

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