Seafarers Assist in Bilateral Exercise

 

August 2017

 

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SIU-crewed vessels once again played important roles in regularly scheduled sealift exercises involving the United States and the Republic of Korea.

 

Earlier this year, several Seafarers-crewed ships participated in the latest iteration of Combined Joint Logistics Over the Shore, abbreviated as CJLOTS. According to the U.S. Navy, the biennial exercise itself this year is a subset of two other missions: Operation Pacific Reach Exercise (OPRex) 2017, and Foal Eagle 2017, an annual Korean Peninsula defense exercise.

 

Various participants handled a wide range of tasks, including training to deliver and redeploy military cargo using lighterage systems, coastal lift operations, rail and inland waterways.

 

Of particular note, according to the Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC), the SIU-crewed prepositioning ships USNS Pililaau (operated by AMSEA) and USNS 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo (operated by Crowley) “successfully utilized the Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS) to discharge equipment and cargo in support of CJLOTS (on) April 8-12.

 

“The INLS is a sea state three (SS3) capable causeway system that resembles a floating pier comprised of interchangeable modules and is used to transfer cargo from MSC ships to shore areas where conventional port facilities are unavailable or inadequate,” the agency reported. “The successful deployment of the INLS for CJLOTS 2017 demonstrates the U.S. and Republic of Korea’s ability to transfer cargo from ships anchored at sea to the shore, improving logistics interoperability, communication and cooperation between the U.S. and the ROK.”

 

A Navy spokesperson said the new system boosts response time and can also keep the ships away from the view of shore-side personnel.

 

The SIU-crewed USNS Fisher (operated by AMSEA) also helped ensure the success of CJLOTS.

 

SIU members sail on many of MSC’s prepositioning ships – part of a program the agency describes as “an essential element in the U.S. military’s readiness strategy. Afloat prepositioning strategically places military equipment and supplies aboard ships located in key ocean areas to ensure rapid availability during a major theater war, a humanitarian operation or other contingency. MSC’s 27 prepositioning ships support the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Defense Logistics Agency.”

 

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