Sailors assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 2 had the opportunity to test the Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS) during the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) exercise June 15-21.A comprehensive look at the new INLS here:
The JLOTS exercise was a test of the military's ability to move equipment and sustainment supplies to specific areas without the benefit of a fixed port facility.
The exercise increased interoperability and improved military readiness by alleviating situational sustainment issues.
INLS played a large role in the JLOTS mission by acting as a floating pier, or causeway system, which is comprised of powered and non-powered floating platforms.
INLS is used to transfer cargo from ship to shore areas where port facilities may be damaged, or nonexistent.
"The INLS is fairly new to ACB 2; we acquired the system only two years ago," said Master Chief Operations Specialist John Fedor, assigned to ACB 2. "It is vastly improved from the old Navy Lighterage (NL) systems; it is a lot safer, more maneuverable, allows the crew to get out of the weather, provides better visibility for the craftmasters and the overall system is a vast improvement of the previous system."
The INLS is made up of pontoon sections a.k.a. platforms. Different mixes of pontoon sections are used to make up different assemblies. The Causeway Ferry is used as a lighter for vehicles and large cargo from ship to shore, and has a top speed of 12 knots compared to 4.5 knots for its predecessor. There are 12 modules for 4 ferries, in a 4×3 arrangement where each ferry assembly comes with a Power section (with engine and controls), an Intermediate section, and a Beach section (with ramp). It takes less than 2 hours to assemble the causeway ferry at sea.Top photo caption:
A different set of INLS sections can be assembled to make up a Roll-on/Roll-off Discharge Facility (RRDF): 1 docking module, up to 7 combination modules that can be fitted together in various ways, and 1 docking module. Warping tugs, also carried on MPF ships, work to push the RRDF the modules into place, and moving the completed discharge facility into position. Once complete, the 240×72 foot assembly becomes a floating transfer dock onto which Maritime Prepositioning Ships and others lower their ramps. It takes 18 – 24 hours to assemble the RRDF discharge facility, depending on waves and wind. The tactical vehicles and other rolling stock can roll down the ships’ ramps onto the RRDF, then onto waiting lighterage such as barge ferries or LCU landing craft.
RRDF also has obvious potential uses under the Navy’s proposed Seabasing doctrine, which would allow offloading, housing, and transfer of supplies for operations on land from floating platforms that could act as mobile bases. Since these sea-bases could be deployed in international waters, or near areas without convenient ports nearby, they would sharply expand the US military’s ability to project power from the sea. The INLS does not yet have a defined seabasing role, but recent exercises have begun to explore this capability.
An improved Navy lighterage system operates supporting the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) exercises. INLS, a sea state three-capable causeway system, is a floating pier that comprises powered and non-powered floating platforms assembled from interchangeable modules. JLOTS is a joint operation that consists of loading and unloading of ships without fixed port facilities, in friendly or non-defended territories. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Stratton/Released)Middle photo caption:
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (July 3, 2008) Seabees assigned Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 1 offload a structural piece of an elevated causeway system onto Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS) Causeway Ferry 1 during Joint Logistics Over-The-Shore (JLOTS) 2008. Navy and Army engineering units will construct a life support area, conduct force protection operations, execute an in-stream offload of shipping from a sea echelon area, employ an offshore petroleum discharge system, and retrograde and safely redeploy allocated forces. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian Morales (Released)Lowest photo caption:
HSV-2 Swift utilizes the Improved Navy Lighterage System and its own Roll-on/Roll-off capabilities for West Africa Training Cruise 08 in conjunction with Africa Partnership Station.UPDATE: Jan 15, 2010: And, of course, you can fery stuff ashore using LCAC's:
The Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) is a high-speed, over-the-beach fully amphibious landing craft, capable of carrying a 60-75 ton payload. It is used to transport the weapons systems, equipment, cargo and personnel of the assault elements of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force from ship to shore and across the beach. LCAC can carry heavy payloads, such as an M-1 tank, at high speeds. The LCAC payload capability and speed combine to significantly increase the ability of the Marine Ground Element to reach the shore. Air cushion technology allows this vehicle to reach more than 70 percent of the world's coastline, while only about 15 percent of that coastline is accessible by conventional landing craft.Or by lots of helicopter trips, but you need secure landing areas in either case. H-60 helicopters, apparently to be supported on the aircrafter carrrier Vinson, can carry a little over 4 tons in a sling under the aircraft.
Barges and ships with cranes can lighter off shore.
One of the key problems is water - and a couple of barges with desalination equipment and a pipeline to shore would be helpful. Or a water carrying variation using tankers...
The bad part is - it all takes time to put together.
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