Corps Command Sergeant Major Visits Mat Sinking Unit
December 6, 2012
Vicksburg, Ms. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Command Sergeant Major Karl J. Groninger recently visited the Vicksburg District's Mat Sinking Unit (MSU). CSM Groninger is the senior enlisted advisor to the USACE commanding officers and staff, headquartered in Washington, DC. His goal is to ensure safety, training, and adequate living conditions of the entire crew, especially the dozens of newly hired wage grade employees on the MSU.
While visiting, he was given a complete overview of the operations of the MSU. "The unique capability provided by the Mat Sinking Unit is an example of USACE's commitment to maintaining the integrity of the levee systems protecting the people, towns and infrastructure along the banks of the Mississippi River and the navigability of the river," Groninger said.
The MSU is currently working on the Mississippi River at Marchand bend near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on river mile180. The MSU will lay mat at this location until 12 December. The next location is Saint Alice bend on river mile 164. Thus far this season, the MSU has placed 273,821 squares or approximately 628 acres of articulated concrete mats on the banks of the Mississippi River. During this longer, six-month, revetment season the goal is to place 442,786 squares covering approximately 1,018 acres.
The MSU is the only one of its kind in the world and distributes articulated concrete mat squares on the banks of the Mississippi River. These concrete mats assist with the prevention of erosion and protection submerged river banks. The MSU is composed of the Motor Vessel Benyaurd with the quarter boats, the Motor Vessel William James with the mat sinking plant and the Motor Vessel Harrison.
This revetment season extends through February 2013 and includes a larger than normal program with critical repairs being made to sites damaged as a result of the 2011 historic flood. The next season will begin June 2013. To learn more about the Mat Sinking Unit and the Vicksburg District, visit www.mvk.usace.army.mil .