JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii –
Army mariners from the 8th Theater Sustainment Command shared their unique capability and the joint and multi-national impact Army watercraft has across the Pacific Theater with Under Secretary of the Army Brad R. Carson during his tour of U.S. Army Vessel Lt. Gen. William B. Bunker (Logistic Support Vessel 4) here, Saturday.
The U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility stretches 9,000 miles, and more than one third of the region's 36 nations are small islands, with the majority of the population living within 200 miles of the coast. When it comes to flexible logistics for the region's joint and multi-national forces, the theater's geography and size demand a team effort maximizing and preparing every available transportation option.
The logistic support vessel, or LSV, that Carson toured is one of the Pacific's 26 Army watercraft assets and its crew averages more than 210 days at sea per year, providing over-the-water transportation of equipment and personnel to increase maneuverability and readiness throughout the region.
The vessel's cargo deck is designed to hold any vehicle in the U.S. Army inventory and comparable vehicles in sister services' and partner nation militaries. The flat bottom boat can carry up to 15 M1 Abrams main battle tanks, or 82 standard containers, which is the equivalent of 17 C-17 aircraft loads. The boat has both bow and stern ramps for roll-on and -off operations and can beach itself to load or discharge cargo over the shore, in as little as four feet of water.
The vessel and other Army watercraft assets provide capabilities that enable access to unimproved ports in austere environments, a potentially critical contribution during humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations.
In addition to routine personnel and equipment movement missions, LSV-4 also joined 22 other nations and sister service counterparts during the world's largest international exercise, Rim of the Pacific 2014, playing a major role in surface/vertical cargo lifts, casualty evacuation training, and Logistics over the Shore operations.
Other Pacific-based Army watercraft elements are set to participate in exercise Combined Joint Logistics Over the Shore 2015, and future Pacific Pathways rotations, and are currently executing Pacific Utility and Logistics Support Enabler-Watercraft II, or PULSE-W II, providing flexible, cost-effective, and tailored cargo delivery options throughout the region in support of joint and multinational exercises and missions.