When the US Air Force flew a 10,000-lb replacement mooring buoy to Wake Island this past July, Brice stood ready to support this mission-critical operation. Because when you own the only mobile crane large enough to lift the enormity of this buoy, on a 10-square mile island more than 2,200 miles away from the mainland, helping out is what you do as part of this unique military island community. Brice’s licensed crane operator and Site Safety and Health Officer, Jeremy Myers, was happy to oblige.
Said Myers: “The opportunity to help is truly humbling. The importance of the buoy for not only the military, but the civilian contractors working here is a big deal. Given our location, and the logistics involved, the margin of error had to be zero. Simple and straight forward turns into critical.” Myers went on: “To dive with Air Force Captain Marc Bleha and work with the Navy Underwater Construction Team on this buoy operation in a place where contractors such as us fought to protect this island—I think it’s impossible to dream up something that awesome.”
The Air Force moved the buoy from the C-5 airplane to the K-truck; Brice’s 75-ton crane was needed to then transfer the buoy to a flatbed trailer for transport to the marina. Once at the marina, the Air Force’s 100-ton static crane would move the buoy into place. A team effort, the Air Force, Navy Dive Team, the BOS Contractor, and Brice strategized the transfer. The entire operation took two hours and was completed successfully.
Captain Marc Bleha shared: “Wake Island is one of a handful of Air Force bases that receives fuel off-shore where a barge is secured in open water between two buoys and a 1,500-ft fuel line is run to shore. The installation receives a shipment based on consumption and projected demand usually on a semiannual to annual basis. The unique attribute to fuel requirements at Wake is that the island is located over 1,500 miles from the next nearest Air Force base and is a key en route stopover “gas station” for fighter aircraft transiting the Pacific. Additionally, the fuel is used to generate electricity for the production of water and feeding people to operating the airport. Without the buoy in place, a fuel barge would not be able to safely anchor offshore and deliver fuel. The island does not want a repeat incident of September 6, 1967 RC Stoner grounding which spilled ~6M gallons of aviation fuel.”
Brice has provided construction and environmental support to the US Air Force/611 CES on Wake Island since 2016.