Hillsides surrounding the dam are teeming with white-painted rocks, which show where deadly mines were once located and now cleared. Those clearing operations were the first step in the Corps of Engineers two-phase construction plan that will ultimately raise the dam about 25 feet, boosting reservoir holding capacity and increasing water for irrigation and consumption.
The Multinational Force & Observers (MFO) is and independent peacekeeping organization which is headquartered in Rome and based in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Created by agreement between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the State of Israel it is comprised of military members and from 13 nations. Australia, Canada, Colombia, the Czech Republic, the Republic of the Fiji Islands, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the United States and Uruguay contribute contingents to make up the MFO’s Force.
Vandgrift arrived on scene at 1 a.m. and in an abundance of caution waited until first light to commence the rescue. At approximately 8 a.m., Sailors aboard USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) brought the infant, three family members and four California Air National Guard pararescuemen aboard using the ship’s rigid hull inflatable boat.
The 129th RQW received a call late this morning from the U.S. Coast Guard concerning a seriously ill 1-year-old girl onboard a 36-foot sailing vessel, Rebel Heart. The infant requires treatment beyond the capabilities of those on board, and because of the vessel’s remote location in the Pacific Ocean and the dire need for medical care, the 129th RQW accepted the mission.