Navy’s Task Force Bulldozer Supports San Diego Firefighting Efforts

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | October 27, 2007

CORONADO, Calif. - Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 deployed Task Force Bulldozer Friday in support of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s firefighting efforts in San Diego County.

Task Force Bulldozer will provide support to CAL Fire by supplementing over-taxed firefighting equipment and resources.  These additional resources will increase CAL Fire’s capability and allow much needed preventative maintenance to be performed on equipment currently in use.

Task Force Bulldozer is being assigned to support the Harris Ranch Fire, with the potential of similar task forces available from other Navy and Marine Corps units throughout the southwestern region to combat other fires.  Marine Corps assets are already being employed to fight fires on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Task Force Bulldozer, comprised of four bull dozers, two water trucks and various support vehicles and equipment, is being manned with two 20-Sea Bee crews that will conduct 24-hour operations for approximately three-to-four days.  

In staffing this task force, ACB 1 had no shortage of volunteers desiring to help out with this mission. 

“The crews are excited to put their training, experience and expertise to work helping the local citizens of San Diego County,” said Lt. Andrew Cline, ACB 1’s future operations officer.

Training on basic firefighting, personal protective equipment and other mission related topics was provided by CAL Fire and the California Department of Forestry at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Thursday. 

In addition to the fire crews, ACB 1’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Jim Wink, and Operations Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Scott Cloyd, attended the training.  Regarding the training received by ACB 1’s Sea Bees, Lt. Cmdr. Cloyd said, “[The training] provided our troops with a basic level of wildfire knowledge and personal safety techniques.  The training was extremely valuable in ensuring their success and safety.”

The support that will be provided by Task Force Bulldozer will not be frontline firefighting, but will focus on the construction of fire breaks and supplying water to CAL Fire trucks coming from the frontlines.  ACB 1’s heavy equipment and Sea Bees make it ideally suited for this mission.

“This is why I joined the Navy.  To help people who need it,” said Navy Equipment Operator Constructionman Apprentice Jody Vandermolen.

For more information on Task Force Bulldozer, please contact Navy Lt. Cmdr. Erik Reynolds at (619) 572-9492.