VENICE, La. -- Soldiers of the Louisiana National Guard's 1023rd Vertical Engineer Company, 528th Engineer Battalion continued laying out water diversion system materials, May 14, near Venice, La., in the southwest pass of the Mississippi River Delta.

The 1023rd, headquartered in Oak Grove, La., has been constructing a 7.1-mile barrier across a beach in the southwest pass as a secondary line of defense to the boom line, to protect the natural marshlands. They have completed nearly one mile of this operation.

This water diversion system replaces sandbags and is comprised of a series of interlocking flexible tubes that are inflated with water to form a temporary dam or levee.

Representatives from U.S. Flood Control Corp., the suppliers of the water diversion systems, have been working alongside the Guardsmen.

"Working with the National Guard has been a dream," said Paul H.N. Vickers, deployment specialist with U.S. Flood Control. "These are some smart guys, very intuitive, and really the best I've ever seen putting out our equipment."

The water diversion systems are normally used for flood control, but will be used to support the shoreline protection mission.