Blessing the Fleet as it Leaves for Work 1998 Sunset Symphony - James 1 day ago   02:19

VicksburgDistrict PublicAffairs
Vicksburg, Miss...The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District's Mat Sinking Unit (MSU) left the Vicksburg Harbor for its annual revetment season on July 9, 2014. The District hosted a Blessing of the Fleet ceremony on July 9, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at the Vicksburg City Water Front as the MSU departed. The blessing was performed by U. S. Army Corps of Engineer Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Mark Mitera.

A tradition that dates back to medieval times, the Blessing of the Fleet originally started in early European fishing communities. A blessing bestowed by a local priest was meant to ask for an abundant and safe season.

The MSU is the only one of its kind in the world and performs one of the most important jobs in the Corps' river stabilization program. This unique one-of-a-kind crew places articulated concrete mats along the river banks of the Mississippi River to control erosion. This season the MSU will place 200,000 squares of concrete mat, enough to cover 80 miles of four lane highway.

Its fleet consists of towboats, quarter boats, and a dredge, including the motor vessels BENYAURD, WILLIAM JAMES, and HARRISON, and other floating plants. The MSU is known as a floating city that houses and feeds its employees and has the capabilities to provide all of the electricity and potable water needed.

Inland waterway navigation is a crucial mission for the Corps. The MSU's responsibilities are to maintain more than 800 miles of navigable channels and harbors to ensure safe, cost-effective, dependable, and environmentally sustainable transportation of vessels within our country's inland waterways.

The Vicksburg District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana that holds seven major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline levees. The district is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 people. The Vicksburg District supports disaster response in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee. To learn more about the Vicksburg District, visit our website.

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1998 Sunset Symphony - James Blessing the Fleet as it Leaves for Work 1 day ago   06:03

Mr. Hyter's final performance of Ol' Man River for the Sunset Symphony at the end of Memphis in May in 1998. Performed in Tom Lee Park on the bluff over looking the Mississippi River. Mr. Hyter passed away April 2, 2009.