Navy Divers Salvage F/A-18
The aircraft was lost at sea due to mechanical failure.
Navy divers and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technicians assigned to Commander, Task Group (CTG) 56.1 salvaged an F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft from the sea floor in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, July 22, 2015.
"This F/A-18 that sunk went down ... not due to the pilot ... there was a problem with one of the engines," said Navy Diver 1st Class Brandon Wiggins, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Expeditionary Support Unit ONE. "So salvaging this, they're going to be able to get an inspection on the engine that failed."
The size of the wreckage and the fact that it lay in a depth of 189 feet of seawater made the mission a unique challenge.
"I've been in the Navy for about 17 years and this is the first time that I've actually had the opportunity of doing something this big," said Senior Chief Navy Diver Dalbert Rivera, assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit ONE (MDSU). "[We got to] go deep, push the limits, and show the Navy that this is what we train for. We're trained professionals so we can do absolutely everything that we're taught in dive school."
Navy divers and EOD personnel from various commands came together to complete the mission.
I've been in the Navy for about 17 years and this is the first time that I've actually had the opportunity of doing something this big
"We have EOD guys here giving us support. We have people from San Diego and from Hawaii," said Rivera. "Everyone's pulling together and we're doing a very good job."