Military Sealift Command Ships Make Historic Firsts During Pacific Horizon 2017

Military Sealift Command large, medium-speed roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Dahl (T-AKR 312) and Expeditionary Transfer Dock ship USNS John Glenn (T-ESD 2) make history with a series of “firsts” as they continue to support the Marine Corps exercise Pacific Partnership 2017 off the coast of Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Since 6 a.m., Friday, 7 July, Dahl and Glenn have been moored together, within feet of each other. The two ships are exercising the Navy’s Seabasing concept, moving supplies, food and equipment from Dahl, to the main deck of Glenn and onto Marine Corps Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCAC) for transfer to the beach. By the completion of the evolution July 11, the ships will have spent nearly 120 hours in this position, making it the longest ship-ship maneuver between and ESD and a RO/RO on record.

As a variety of Marine vehicles were transferred via ramp from Dahl to Glenn, on deck, the two ships conducted the first the first, at-sea crane transfer of cargo from a RO/RO to an ESD. Using a large deck crane, shipping containers of supplies were transferred from Dahl to Glenn and then loaded onto LCACS for beach delivery.  The crane transfer demonstrates another aspect of the flexible platform the EDS provides in support of the Navy’s Seabasing concept, which enables large-scale logistics movements from sea to shore and prepositioned Marine Corps equipment from the Sea Base to the shore.

Three Marine Corps Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCAC) arrive for landing onboard the Military Sealift Command expeditionary transfer dock ship USNS John Glenn (T-ESD 2). Vehicles delivered to Glenn from the Military Sealift Command large, medium-speed roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Dahl (T-AKR 312) are loaded onto the LCACs and delivered to the Beach at Camp Pendleton, Calif. in support of the Marine Corps Exercise Pacific Horizon 2017.

Because the ESD and Seabasing are new platforms, exercises like Pacific Horizon allow the crews of the ships to develop, test, train and prove a baseline of capabilities for future planning and missions.

“Training and familiarity are the biggest benefits of participating in an exercise like Pacific Horizon,” explained Capt. James Mixon, Dahl’s civil service master. “Introducing the younger generation of Marine Corps officers and the senior enlisted community to the capabilities of not just the vessel, but also the equipment stored within, will go a long way to helping the way all of us respond during a conflict and in a humanitarian time of need.”

Rolling Marine Corps equipment is transferred from the Military Sealift Command’s large, medium-speed roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Dahl (T-AKR-312) to the Military Sealift Command expeditionary transfer dock ship USNS John Glenn (T-ESD 2). Both ships are supporting the Marine Corps exercise Pacific Horizon 2017 off the coast of Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Pacific Horizon 2017 is a scenario driven, simulation supported, crisis response exercise designed to improve 1st Marine Expeditionary Battalion’s and Expeditionary Strike Group-3’s interoperability and to strengthen Navy-Marine Corps relations by conducting a Maritime Pre-positioning Force equipment offload for security assistance and infrastructure restoration support in the event of a natural disaster or civil unrest.

Pacific Partnership 2017 continues through July 20.

Military Sealift Command large, medium-speed roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Dahl (T-AKR 312) and Expeditionary Transfer Dock ship USNS John Glenn (T-ESD 2) sit moored in the ship-ship configuration, a few feet apart during their support of the Marine Corps exercise Pacific Horizon 2017. By the completion of the evolution July 11, the ships will have spent nearly 120 hours in this position, making it the longest ship-ship maneuver between and ESD and a RO/RO on record.

 

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