USNS Bob Hope Serves as Cargo Platform for Big LOTS West 2017

Military Sealift Command large, medium-speed roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Bob Hope is currently at anchor, directly off the coast of San Diego, supporting the annual Army Reserve logistics-over-shore (LOTS) exercise, Big LOTS West 2017.

Bob Hope is serving as the primary cargo platform for the exercise, supporting members of the Army’s 250th Transportation Company, 304th Sustainment Brigade, 311th Sustainment Command, and the Navy’s Amphibious Cargo Battalion 1, and Beach Group 1.  During the port phase, Army vehicles were loaded onto the ship at the 10th Ave. Marine Terminal in San Diego, and staged for sea. During the sea phase, supplies and equipment are being transferred from the ship to the beach via the Navy lighterage system and other Navy and Army crafts, and returned to the ship.  Large deck cranes enable the cargo to be transported to and from the lighterage. The use of the cranes differs from other LOTS style exercises where the stern ramp of the RO/ROs is lowered onto a floating causeway, allowing vehicles to be driven off and on the ship and off and onto the lighterage for quick transportation to the beach.  The use of the deck cranes provides an opportunity for Army crane operators to train with the system in an at-sea environment, similar to what they will encounter in an actual mission.

An Army vehicle is loaded onto the Military Sealift Command large, medium speed, roll on/roll off ship USNS Bob Hope as part of the logistics-over-the-shore exercise Big LOTS West 2017.

Big LOTS West 2017 is a logistics exercise designed to test the Army’s ability to reestablish port facilities, offload containers, equipment and bulk supplies, and transfer, store, and deliver them to an area when no useable port facilities exist in an extreme and harsh environment.

An Army Reservist directs crane operations on the pier at the 10th Ave. Marine Terminal in San Diego in support of the logistics-over-the-shore exercise, Big LOTS West 2017.

“Big LOTS West is a great example of how MSC demonstrates its flexibility to support and sustain various types of mission and different service branches,” explained Cmdr. January Crivello, Military Sealift Command Pacific operations officer. “What we learn from this exercise, as well as the Pacific Horizon’s exercise we just completed will help us succeed not only during wartime, but also for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. It also a great opportunity to work with, and learn from the Army reservists and the Navy units participating, and how we can all work together to succeed in a mission.”

Members of the Army Reserve and the Navy’s Beach Group 1, get underway on the Navy Lighterage System, traveling to the Military Sealift Command large, medium speed, roll on/roll off ship USNS Bob Hope anchored off the coast of San Diego in support of the logistics-over-the-shore exercise, Big LOTS West 2017.

LOTS type operations like Big LOTS West 2017, have been used by the United States Military since the late 1800s. They were most successfully used during WWII and are credited with the United States’ victory in the Pacific. The best example was the Allied’s invasion of Normandy France.

Big Lots West 2017 continues through July 23.

 

 

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