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Engineer Task Force Revolutionizes Disaster Response with MOTSU Recovery (Article)

On Sept. 15, 2018, Hurricane Florence battered the Military Ocean Terminal, Sunny Point, N.C. (MOTSU), with piercing winds and destructive flooding, leaving the strategically critical logistics installation with eroded rail lines, washed out roads, and significant wharf damage. 

Truckers hauled the first 2,000 tons of fill material into MOTSU on Sept. 25, less than one week after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers put boots on the ground here. 

As the key ammunition shipping point on the Atlantic coast for U.S. forces worldwide, the MOTSU recovery quickly became a Defense Department priority, and the Corps’ Savannah District was chosen to lead the effort. 

In less than a week Col. Daniel Hibner, commander of the Savannah District, assembled a team of experts to assess damage and repair critical infrastructure. He tapped into the Corps’ vast network of expertise, including structural, hydraulic and civil engineers, to form his team. 

Professionals from six districts across the nation converged on MOTSU within two days to assess the damage and execute construction contracts. “No one has ever executed a process like this in less than a week,” said Tracy Hendren, Savannah District Engineer Division Chief.

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