The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency awarded a $24.9 million contract to SMIT Salvage, Singapore, on Feb. 1 to provide support for emergency response and recovery operations for the 1,300-ton USS Guardian (MCM 5) grounding on Tubbataha Reef, Sulu Sea, Philippines.
The Guardian is an Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship that grounded on Tubbataha Reef on Jan. 17. The reef is a protected natural park administered by the Philippines. On Jan. 29, the U.S. Navy announced plans to dismember the ship into three sections and decommission it.
The contract announcement was made Feb. 5 via a decision by the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington. Support will include personnel, vessels and equipment required for assessment, planning, stabilization, oil removal and vessel recovery. About 72 percent of the work will be performed in the vicinity of the Tubbataha Reef and 15 percent at Palawan, Philippines.
Work will be completed by December. SMIT is a member of Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V.