Military Sealift Command Ships Conduct Joint Logistics Over The Shore Exercise as Part of PACNORWEST Disaster Recovery Drills

Natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes and typhoons around the world have highlighted a rapid response in times of recovery. For this reason, Military Sealift Command ships USNS Bob Hope (T-AKR 300) and USNS Brittin (T-AKR 305) are currently participating in a Joint Logistics Over the Shore (JLOTS) exercise in the Pacific Northwest.

Working with the Navy’s Beach Group ONE and reservist from Expeditionary Port Unit 116, Bob Hope and Brittin delivered 185 pieces of cargo that included 150 containers, 13 sections of Navy lighterage, vehichles, as well as a 1,000 person tent city.   Using the Navy lighterage system; the cargo is being delivered to the beach.

Army vehicles are staged on the cargo decks of the Military Sealift Command ship USNS Bob Hope.  The vehicles will be delivered to the beach via the Navy Lighterage System as part of the ongoing Joint Logistics Over the Shore exercise being held in the Pacific Northwest.

Army vehicles are staged on the cargo decks of the Military Sealift Command ship USNS Bob Hope. The vehicles will be delivered to the beach via the Navy Lighterage System as part of the ongoing Joint Logistics Over the Shore exercise being held in the Pacific Northwest.

“Participating in JLOTS 2016 allows for any unforeseen challenges to be discovered and overcome within a training environment,” explained Capt. Tom Gately, Brittin’s contract mariner master. “The exercise has promoted a greater understanding and appreciation between the personnel of all participating services and organizations.  Civilian contracted merchant mariners, U.S Army and U.S. Navy personnel may use terminology or have practices that differ from one another, so ensuring we are using effective communication between all of us has been critical to operational effectiveness.”

Army vehicles are driven down the deployed ramp onto the Navy Lighterage System for delivery to the beach during the ongoing Joint Logistics Over the Shore exercise being held in the Pacific Northwest.

Army vehicles are driven down the deployed ramp onto the Navy Lighterage System for delivery to the beach during the ongoing Joint Logistics Over the Shore exercise being held in the Pacific Northwest.

While the Pacific Northwest provides a beautiful backdrop for the exercise, working with Mother Nature provides unique challenges. Ocean current and weather conditions can mean unstable working conditions which are something Brittin encountered on the evening of June 13.  Weather conditions and instability with the holding anchorage, halted cargo operations and forced the ship to move 4 miles further from the Port of Tacoma.

JLOTS 2016 is being conducted in part with two multi-agency disaster recovery scenario exercise; Cascadia Rising Exercise 2016 and Ardent Sentry 2016. Both exercises focus on simulated emergency field response operations following a major earthquake and tsunami affecting the Puget Sound region. One of the primary goals is to train and test a community approach to complex disaster operations as a joint team by utilizing federal, state, tribal and local military and civilian emergency management teams In the event of a large-scale natural disaster, roads and airports could be heavily damaged, making it difficult to deliver food, personnel and recovery supplies to the affected areas.  In areas on the coastlines, one of the best ways to deliver aid could be by water.  For this reason, the JLOTS technology, which is normally used as a wartime delivery system, can be utilized to deliver cargo to a beach where fixed port facilities are unavailable.

 

Using a deck crane, sections of the Navy Lighterage System are offloaded from the Military Sealift Command ship USNS Bob Hope for use in the ongoing Joint Logistics Over the Shore exercise being conducted in the Pacific Northwest.

Using a deck crane, sections of the Navy Lighterage System are offloaded from the Military Sealift Command ship USNS Bob Hope for use in the ongoing Joint Logistics Over the Shore exercise being conducted in the Pacific Northwest.

 

“JLOTS 2016 is a great opportunity for MSC, not only for us to train with other agencies outside of the Navy, but to show our mission flexibly,” said Tim McCully, Military Sealift Command Pacific’s deputy commander. “Our motto is, ‘We Deliver”, but exercises like JLOTS and Cascadia Rising also demonstrate that MSC is prepared and able to protect and assist our local and worldwide communities in time of great need.”

A member of Military Sealift Command's Expeditionary Port Unit 116 observes the cargo offload onto the Navy Lighterage System during the ongoing Joint Logistics Over the Shore exercise being conducted in the Pacific Northwest.

A member of Military Sealift Command’s Expeditionary Port Unit 116 observes the cargo offload onto the Navy Lighterage System during the ongoing Joint Logistics Over the Shore exercise being conducted in the Pacific Northwest.

 

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