By Spc. Tarell J. Bilbo
Louisiana National Guard
NEW ORLEANS (6/25/10) -- Maj. Gen. Raymond W. Carpenter, acting director of the Army National Guard traveled here June 24 to attend a National Guard strength and maintenance conference and visit with Louisiana Guardsmen working the oil spill response mission in Grand Isle, La.
Carpenter, escorted by Army Brig. Gen. Owen W. Monconduit, commander of the 225th Engineer Brigade, got a close look at the Tiger Dam water diversions system that has been constructed on the beach at Grand Isle.
Monconduit explained the importance of the Guard’s effort to protect the marshlands and coastal areas of Louisiana while the two flew from Jackson Barracks to Grand Isle in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.
“If any oil were to come into these marshlands, it would greatly disrupt the marine life, as well as the lives of the citizens of these communities,” Monconduit said.
At Grand Isle, Carpenter praised Guardsmen from the 1022nd Vertical Engineer Company, 527th Engineer Battalion, after watching them perform maintenance on the Tiger Dam system.
“These Guardsmen are doing great work,” he said. “The sheer size of what they are protecting just takes you back a bit.”
Besides viewing the Tiger Dam system, Carpenter also visited a LANG operations center in Grand Isle and observed military float bridge operations and civilian vacuum barge systems.
In addition to the projects Carpenter visited, the Louisiana Guard has completed land bridges on Elmer’s Island and Thunder Bayou, as well as Hesco barrier walls in Port Fourchon.