Norfolk District Army Corps Christens Two New Vessels

Two new survey vessels are officially joined the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers fleet Tuesday afternoon during a christening ceremony at Fort Norfolk.

The vessels are named in honor of a former Norfolk District employee and a former Army officer who served in the Hampton Roads area when the district was considered a field office.

The Survey Vessel Fentress is named in honor of Mr. James F. Fentress, a long time district employee who operated and managed the Norfolk District’s mail program for five decades, including through the Great Depression and during wars and peacetime.

The Survey Vessel Weyss is named in honor of Major John E. Weyss, who was assigned to the area by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and created the first hydrographic survey and map by the Corps of Norfolk Harbor, which lead to the Recommendation for Improvement to Norfolk Harbor and later the authorization of the project.

The two, 23-foot Sea Ark vessels will be used to survey the federal navigation channels throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Both vessels are equipped with multi-beam SONAR for depth measurement and RTK GPS system for horizontal and vertical positioning of the soundings, and were built by Willard Marine in California.

The two vessels are replacing 20 and 30-year-old vessels currently in service by the district.