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Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC)

MDSU-1 Awarded Humanitarian Service Medal and Hawaii National State Active Duty Ribbon

by Lt. j.g. Rae Timberlake
29 May 2024 The Hawaii Army National Guard presented awards May 1, to Sailors assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit ONE (MDSU-1) for their response to the wildfires on Maui.

As part of the Hawaii National Guard’s (HING) Joint Task Force 50, MDS Company 1-3 conducted search and survey operations in Lahaina Harbor in support of the safety and recovery of residents affected by the wildfires on Maui in August 2023.

“We are proud of the hard work and dedication these salvors put in every single day to ensure they are ready to respond during a time of crisis,” said Capt. Wade Hilderbrand, commodore of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group ONE (EODGRU-1). “MDS Company 1-3 represents the best of the EOD force.”

Twenty two Sailors received the Humanitarian Service Medal and the Hawaii National Guard State Active Duty Ribbon during a ceremony on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam.

The HING’s Brig. Gen. Stephen Logan was the commander of JTF 50, and he presented the awards. The awards were signed by Hawaii State Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, who was also the state’s incident commander for the Maui wildfires.

“The State of Hawaii and the Hawaii National Guard were proud to have MDSU-1 as a part of JTF 50,” said Hara. “Your specialized capabilities were vital during the Maui wildfire response and helped immensely in the early recovery phase of Lahaina Harbor.”

As a component of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group One, MDSU-1 provides ready, expeditionary, rapidly deployable mobile diving and salvage companies to conduct harbor and waterway clearance, salvage, underwater search and recovery, and underwater emergency repairs in any environment.
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