ANMYEON BEACH, Republic of Korea - U.S. and Republic of Korea forces successfully connected and tested a 3.2 kilometer (2 mile) long temporary fuel transfer pipeline from a U.S. Naval vessel to Anmyeon Beach in South Korea July 1-3 as part of the Combined Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (CJLOTS) 2015 exercise.
This is the first successful connection of the pipeline on South Korea's west coast, due to the challenges of significant tidal fluctuations, or changes in water levels of up to 8 vertical meters (29 feet), in a busy coastal area.
"This expeditionary capability can be used worldwide for humanitarian assistance, disaster relief operations, contingencies or crisis response," said Cmdr. Erik Palin, naval liaison officer for Military Sealift Command Korea. "This success validates the capability for a rapid supply of water or petroleum from sea to shore in times of need."
A large part of any logistical support is the movement of liquid cargo.
"Typically, diesel, JP8, JP5 are the products we deliver," said Rick Bower, senior mission specialist of the Offshore Petroleum Distribution System. "It's whatever the customers use or require."
The formal name of the system tested was the Offshore Petroleum Discharge System, but during CJLOTS 2015, potable water is delivered from the USNS Vice Adm. K. R. Wheeler (T-AG 5001) to a collapsible bag that acts as a tank on shore.
Palin explained that the Wheeler is anchored approximately two miles away from the shore, and the Wheeler's work boat, the USNS Fast Tempo, first needed to pull the pipeline closer to the coast. Then a lightweight shot line was sent to a Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo craft on shore and with the use of dozers the pipe was pulled ashore.
"As soon as the pipeline reached the shore, we hooked up the pipe to the Beach Termination Unit, which will interface with the Army Inland Petroleum Distribution System to allow the product to be pumped to the warfighter," told Bower.
According to Bower, the system is now capable of supplying water to be used by exercise participants.
"The system is designed to deliver 1.7 million gallons of product," said Bower. "What we did here is we took another step to show that we not only deliver in a standard environment, but we now show them that in this extended mud flat type of situation, we can deliver product anywhere in the world."
Logistics Over-the-Shore (LOTS) operations are military activities that include offshore loading and unloading of ships when fixed port facilities are unavailable or denied due to enemy activities. LOTS operations are conducted over unimproved shorelines, through fixed ports not accessible to deep draft shipping, and through fixed ports that are otherwise inadequate without the use of LOTS capabilities.
"This Combined Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore exercise conducted by the ROK and U.S. forces is significant in the sense that it was the first successfully conducted exercise in the west sea overcoming operational difficulties and limitations," said Republic of Korea Navy Rear Adm. Park, Ki Kyung, Flotilla 5 commander.
More than 1,700 total personnel took part in the CJLOTS 2015 exercise with approximately 900 U.S. and 800 ROK personnel participating in the event. The exercise, which took place June 29 through July 9 at the Anmyeon Beach on the west coast of the Republic of Korea, demonstrated the ROK and U.S. ability to transfer solid and liquid cargo from the sea to the shore and is designed to improve logistics interoperability, communication and cooperation between the U.S. and South Korea.