Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
For more information, contact:
Laura M. Seal (202) 685-5055
July 29, 2008
USNS Pililaau completes at-sea offload for joint logistics over the shore exercise in California
|Click on the image for a high-resolution photo.|
|Military Sealift Command large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Pililaau anchored two miles off the coast of Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 22. A platform of floating Navy barges called a roll-on/roll-off discharge facility is attached to the ship's stern ramp and a motorized Navy causeway ferry approaches. During an at-sea offload, military personnel drive wheeled and tracked vehicles from the ship’s cargo hold onto the roll-on/roll-off discharge facility for staging and then onto the causeway ferry for transport to shore. Over the course of six days, Pililaau offloaded more than 210,000 square feet of Army cargo as part of Pacific Strike 2008 – a joint logistics over the shore exercise. Pililaau also discharged cargo via the ship's side ramp and shipboard cranes. JLOTS is the U.S. military’s method of transporting military and humanitarian cargo to shore from ships at sea.|
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian P. Caracci
Military Sealift Command large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Pililaau departed the coast of Camp Pendleton, Calif., late yesterday after discharging more than 210,000 square feet of Army cargo from an anchorage two miles offshore.
The offload was part of Pacific Strike 2008 - a joint logistics over the shore exercise involving more than 3,000 soldiers, sailors, Marines and civilians as well as four U.S. ships under MSC's operational control, including Pililaau.
Joint logistics over the shore, or JLOTS, is the U.S. military's method of transporting military and humanitarian cargo to shore from ships at sea. This capability allows the Department of Defense to deliver cargo even where port facilities are nonexistent, damaged or inadequate.
"The only way to move massive amounts of equipment to our military forces or to people in need is by ship," said Brig. Gen. Mark MacCarley, deputy commander of the 8th Theater Sustainment Command, which is responsible for oversight of this year's exercise. "If there isn't a port, we still need the capability to get our equipment to shore."
The civilian-crewed Pililaau arrived off the coast of Camp Pendleton July 21, carrying nearly 1,000 wheeled and tracked vehicles and more than 500 containers of equipment belonging to the 3rd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division and the 45th Sustainment Brigade. Offload operations began the next morning and continued around-the-clock until just before midnight July 27.
The equipment began its journey from Pililaau's cavernous cargo holds to shore in one of two ways. Pililaau's two shipboard, 110-ton cranes lifted containers from the weatherdeck onto barges that transported the equipment to shore.
Concurrently, military personnel drove tanks, trucks and other vehicles down the ship's stern and side ramps onto one of two floating platforms of shallow-draft barges. The vehicles were then driven onto various Army and Navy watercraft for transport to shore.
At the beach, military personnel transferred the cargo to shore via a temporary pier that Navy Seabees built in the weeks leading up to the offload. Once ashore, soldiers staged the equipment, which traveled via local roads to the Army's National Training Center in Ft. Irwin, Calif.
In addition to Pililaau, three other ships under MSC's operational control played a vital role in the exercise. Heavy lift ship SS Cape Mohican delivered the Navy barges, crane ship SS Flickertail State delivered the components of the temporary pier, and offshore petroleum discharge ship SS Chesapeake pumped more than 200,000 gallons water to shore - demonstrating the ship's ability to transfer fuel. Chesapeake also supplied fuel to the 39 Navy and Army watercraft operating as part of the exercise.
Navy reservists for Military Sealift Command orchestrated the movement of all four of these ships, coordinating directly with the exercise operations staff to ensure success.
Cape Mohican, Flickertail State and Chesapeake are all part of the U.S. Maritime Administration's Ready Reserve Force. When not deployed on a mission, these ships are maintained pierside by a small crew.
MSC operates approximately 110 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.
Return to 2008 Press Release archive...