Sailors from Underwater Construction Team Two (UCT 2) significantly reduced the size of an underwater obstruction in Sapwauhfik Atoll October 11-29, widening a channel that serves as an important cargo and passenger transfer point for the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).
The Federated States of Micronesia formally requested assistance from the United States to remove an obstruction and widen the channel so that inter-island cargo and passenger ships could enter the atoll in a safer manner.
Previously, ships had to transfer both cargo and passenger to small boats in order to transit ashore because of a 400 square foot obstruction in the middle of the channel.
The obstruction was preventing larger ships from making the tight turn into the channel, and smaller boats often battled strong currents when transiting.
UCT 2 used explosive dredging at a location designated by the Pohnpei Port Authority and the residents of Sapwauhfik to remove the obstruction.
The team also considered the environment while conducting their mission and mitigated their impact on local sea life by conducting pre-site surveys and training their Sailors on environmental responsibilities.