Face of Defense: U.S. Troops Combat Floods in Thailand

BANGKOK, Dec. 9, 2011 — U.S. Marines, air­men and sailors worked in tan­dem with their Thai mil­i­tary coun­ter­parts to pro­vide flood relief late last month at the Don Mueang Inter­na­tion­al Air­port here.

Marines with the 3rd Marine Logis­tics Group pre­pare to pump flood water from affect­ed areas at the Don Mueang Inter­na­tion­al Air­port in Bangkok, Nov. 29, 2011. The 3rd Marine Expe­di­tionary Force’s flood relief com­mand ele­ment direct­ed per­son­nel assist­ing the Thai gov­ern­ment with flood-relief efforts.
U.S. Marine Corps pho­to by Lance Cpl. Matheus J. Her­nan­dez
Click to enlarge

The U.S. ser­vice mem­bers and Roy­al Thai sol­diers and air­men trans­port­ed equip­ment from the Laem Cha­bang port to fight flood­ing at the water-inun­dat­ed air­port Nov. 29.

Marines and sailors assigned to Com­bat Logis­tics Reg­i­ment 3, part of the 3rd Marine Expe­di­tionary Force’s 3rd Marine Logis­tics Group, per­formed water removal oper­a­tions with the Thai air force. Before the oper­a­tion, Thai air­men placed sand­bags as bar­ri­ers around the airport’s four flood­ed main­te­nance facilities.

“The Marines were tasked to drain a spe­cif­ic area of the air­port that the Roy­al Thai Air Force had iso­lat­ed,” said Marine Corps Maj. Jonathan A. Derosier, engi­neer­ing offi­cer for the 3rd MEF’s flood relief com­mand ele­ment. “They had a mis­sion, which was to drain a spe­cif­ic tar­get­ed area, and that was with­in the scope of our capability.”

U.S. forces pro­vid­ed equip­ment to assist in drain­ing the area, includ­ing hose-and-reel sys­tems, 600-gal­lon-per-minute fuel pumps and vehi­cles to trans­port the equipment.

“They want­ed to accel­er­ate the nat­ur­al drainage of the flood water, and to do that we deployed the hose reel to pump the water from the iso­lat­ed area and rout­ed it through the hose down to a drainage canal,” Derosier said. “That was going to allow the water to nat­u­ral­ly flow [from the canal].”

U.S. Marine Corps and Army engi­neers and civ­il engi­neers with the U.S. Air Force’s 36th Con­tin­gency Response Group worked with Thai ser­vice mem­bers, offi­cials said, to deter­mine how to con­duct the flood-relief oper­a­tions, includ­ing rout­ing flood water to min­i­mize the length of hose need­ed, and deter­min­ing the amount of water to be moved.

Marine Corps Chief War­rant Offi­cer Julio C. Dominguez, the engi­neer­ing detach­ment offi­cer in- charge with the logis­tics reg­i­ment, said the Amer­i­can and Thai ser­vice mem­bers worked dili­gent­ly dur­ing the suc­cess­ful operations.

“The Marines were able to adapt to the envi­ron­ment and com­plete their mis­sion,” Dominguez said. “Com­plet­ing our mis­sion allowed the Thai peo­ple to get back to work by gain­ing access to their buildings.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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