Recently, we sailed past an unusual vessel moored at Jack London Square, the Army vessel John Dillard. It's a silver clad aluminum boat named after a World War II and Vietnam Corps of Engineers veteran who died in action. The boat operates as a debris removal craft, conducting aquatic surveys and investigations, and can be used as a floating operations hub for the Army. At a cost of $8 million, the vessel has state-of-the-art technology including modern communications gear and a huge crane can that can pluck heavy objects from the water.
The boat can become an emergency operations center for the Army Corps in times of natural or manmade disasters, including terrorist activity or civil disturbance, and dam or levee safety emergencies. For us who frequently navigate the bay, it's great to see these specialized craft in our waters.