Anmyeon Beach, South Korea - Seagulls are heard but not seen, waves crash against the shoreline and a bulldozer roars loudly as it fires up. In the distance, a squeaking sound echoes across the waves from a metal floating pier. Preparations begin.
Soldiers from 331st Transportation Company, 11th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade Expeditionary, prepare for the arrival of numerous vehicles from the USNS 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo (T-AK 3008) at a Trident Pier at Anmyeon Beach on the west coast of the Republic of Korea during the Combined Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore exercise, July 3, 2015.
Life on the water is not the only thing the Soldiers on the causeway pier experience. Some take to the shore to lend a helping hand to ensure mission success.
In the early morning hours, Army Spc. Spencer Grimes, an Albion, New York, native and watercraft operator, backfills the pier with sand under cover of dense fog with his dozer. He is rebuilding the sand ramp after the tide washed out part of the landing at the end of the Trident Pier.
“I took the initiative to help Army Sgt. Eutmio Perez (another watercraft operator) rebuild the ramp going onto the Causeway Pier,” said Spencer.
The duo prevented the Trident Pier from slipping out of place and losing contact with the shore. If the pier slipped out of place, equipment could not complete movement from the sea to the shore.
After Grimes and Perez finished securing the pier, the Soldiers conducted safety checks on the flexors and fenders, the pieces of the modular causeway that relieve tension from the pieces of the Trident Pier. Then, the causeway team worked to reset the anchors.
“We need to keep the pier as straight as possible to keep the flexors from breaking,” said Burlington North Carolina native, Army Private Abigail Burr, watercraft operator. “We reset the anchors every 5-6 hours since the current is so strong.”
We were able to ensure the larger logistics mission continued in a safe and proficient manner, Spencer explained.
“Safety is the number one focus for anything we do,” said Army Sgt. Peter Rogone, Coxswain and Las Vegas native. “Making sure everything is in proper working order is key to making the mission successful.”
The waves slap the sides of the pier as the sun beats down. It’s 5 o’clock and a Landing Craft Utility vessel docks at the pier. A ramp comes down and one-by-one, six vehicles offload and drive the 1,840 feet (560 meters) to the beachfront.