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JLOTS strengthens Army-Navy interoperability

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SGT. STEPHEN PROCTOR 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Battles, campaigns and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics.”

Many factors contribute to winning wars, or in the modern-day military, ef- ficiently providing international human- itarian assistance at a moment's notice. Moving the Army's vast supply of vehi- cles and other equipment can be a daunt- ing task in itself.

However, to add an extra element of difficulty, a group of Soldiers and Sailors moved more than 1,500 rolling vehicles and shipping containers from ships an- chored off the coast of Camp Pendleton, Calif., to the shore without the benefit of a fixed port during the Joint Logistics Over The Shore exercise Pacific Strike (JLOTS) June 1-Aug. 1.

JLOTS is a joint exercise between the U.S. Army and the Navy meant to strengthen their interoperability so they can quickly build an improvised port when one has been destroyed or is non- existent, and get equipment from sea to shore to support wartime or humanitari- an missions.

“(JLOTS is) meant to enable (the mili- tary) to move a heavy force ashore when we don't have a modern port, or we don't have a large enough port,” said Navy Capt. Thomas Wetherald, commander, JLOTS ‘08.

The mission began when the USNS Pililaau docked in Hawaii to pick up

Soldiers with the 331st Transportation Com Logistics Over the Shore 2008, recently.

equipment from the 45th Sustainment Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Com- mand (TSC) and the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), 25th Infantry Divi- sion (ID). The Pililaau transported the equipment to Camp Pendleton, where it was driven to Fort Irwin, Calif., for a mission rehearsal exercise at the Nation- al Training Center in preparation for de- ployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Training to ship equipment efficiently is beneficial to Soldiers and Sailors be- cause most support equipment for battles and wars will have to be shipped.

pany from Fort Eustis, Va., “stab” into the beach with the Army Trident Pier during Joint

“No matter how much airlift we might have, in the end the tyranny of weight is that 95 percent of stuff that comes to back up the initial force and to do the long-term logistics is going to come by sea,” said Wetherald.

Meanwhile, Navy Seabees with Am- phibious Construction Battalion 1, Naval Beach Group 1, built a life support area consisting of tents for sleeping, working, eating and bathing for the nearly 3,000 Soldiers, Sailors and civilians who would be working on JLOTS at its peak. They also worked on the beach to erect the

Navy Elevated Causeway System (EL- CAS), a mobile pier system that can be as- sembled in a matter of days. The ELCAS is equipped with cranes that lift shipping containers from pieces of the Improved Navy Lighterage System, a series of float- ing causeways, for transfer to the shore.

The rolling stock was driven off the Pililaau onto pieces of lighterage called causeway ferries. Sailors with Beach Mas- ter Unit 1 guided the ferries to shore where they stabbed directly into the beach and the vehicles were driven off and handed over to the Army.

The Soldiers from the 45th Sus. Bde. set up a reception, staging and onward (RSO) movement area where they loaded the vehicles onto trucks for transportation to Fort Irwin.

”As the Navy guys downloaded the ship and moved it across the shore it was handed off to us (so we could) stage it,” said Col. Clay Hatcher, Task Force RSO commander. “We’ve already got every- thing up the hill, and we’re ahead of schedule.”

When the equipment is ashore, anoth- er critical issue is fueling the vehicles. The SS Chesapeake is a specially modified tanker designed to solve that problem. The Chesapeake, part of the Offshore Pe- troleum Discharge System/Inland Petro- leum Discharge System, pumps fuel through tubes submerged in the ocean.

When the tubes reach the shore, they are attached to pumping stations that can feed fuel miles down the beach into 20 million gallon bladders. During JLOTS ‘08, the system is tested by pumping wa- ter through the pipes.

The multifaceted system that moves the equipment from ship to shore requires a great deal of complex integration be- tween the Army and the Navy.

"It was a very successful integration and that's because every single Soldier (and) every single Sailor was fully en- gaged, committed to making this exercise a success, and it will be an enduring legacy for the United States armed forces,” said Brig. Gen. Mark MacCar- ley, deputy commander of Joint Task Force Eight.

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