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Vicksburg native marks 20 years of service on Dredge Jadwin

October 31, 2023   Vicksburg Post

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Jason Turner is a Vicksburg native and assistant manager aboard the United States Army Corps of Engineers dustpan Dredge Jadwin.


Based out of the Vicksburg District, the Jadwin typically serves along the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge up to Memphis.


Turner was born and raised in Vicksburg and said he had a fascination with the Mississippi River since he was a little boy. His grandfather worked on the Mat Sinking Unit on the river which kindled his love further.


“I started here as a cleanup guy and have done every job on the boat and worked my way up to assistant manager,” Turner said. “I have been here 20 years now.”


Turner is in charge of making sure the Jadwin gets upriver and is third in command if the captain isn’t onboard. While the Jadwin is stationed in Vicksburg, it spends much of its time in South Louisiana.


Turner said it is exciting to do something that helps his country. The Jadwin has developed a legacy of serving the nation over the past 90 years, whether it be through keeping the navigational channel open for shipping or by saving citizens and livestock during the 1937 Missouri Flood.


In 1938, the Jadwin cleared a river blockage in Greenville, Miss. It once dredged a ship that was grounded at Redeye in 1989 and served as a substation in Venice, La., during Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav.


The Jadwin typically spends 160 days on the Mississippi River annually, but last year spent 254 days on the Mississippi River. The dredge set sail in April and is still out on the river 208 days later as of Oct. 25. It is likely the crew will be dredging the river to keep the navigational channel open until a significant amount of rainfall comes to raise the low river levels.


However, Turner said it isn’t all bad spending time away from home.


“I love what I do and it is exciting. I appreciate the guys I work with. We are out here more than we are at home. They are more than family,” Turner said. “My wife is supportive of what I do. It is enjoyable for all of us. It is what I love to do.”