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Army Pfc. Alicia Torbush, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit
CAMP PATRIOT, Kuwait 10/20/2008 — In preparation for a mechanized sustainment training exercise, Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit offloaded track and assault vehicles at Camp Patriot, Kuwait, Oct. 12.
The training is scheduled to take place at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, starting Nov. 1.
The exercise is a refresher to the pre-deployment training and is intended to sharpen their skills, said Staff Sgt. Keith Garber, motor transportation chief, 26th MEU.
The movement included offloading the equipment from ship to shore using Landing Craft, Air- Cushioned and relocating both personnel and equipment.
According to Chief Petty Officer Michael McDonald, LCAC pilot, Assault Craft Unit 4, an LCAC is a hovercraft used to transport heavy loads from ship to shore and shore to ship.
“The LCAC can carry a combat ready M1A1 Abrams Battle Tank,” added the Detroit, Mich., native.
“One of the obstacles for the LCAC is that the tanks are very heavy,” said Garber, a Philadelphia native. Timing was also a factor in the movement.
“We were under a time constraint,” said Garber. “The ships had to be off station by a certain time so we were moving at a very fast pace.”
In order to help alleviate the limited time that the MEU and LCAC crews had to work with, equipment was offloaded at two different beaches.
“Running two beaches simultaneously is very hard to do,” said Garber.
Ship to shore logistics include knowing what equipment needs to be moved, knowing its location on the ship and moving it around so that the equipment could be transported from the ship to the shore, said Garber.
Once all of the equipment was located on the ship, loaded on to the transport vessels and offloaded on shore, the other needs of the MEU had to be taken care of.
“Some of the logistics include finding billeting, sustainment, and transportation of equipment, gear and personnel,” said Garber.
“The MEU as a whole is pleased with the support that they have been given here at Camp Arifjan as well as Camp Patriot,” he added.
Garber said, despite weight issues and time constraints, the MEU successfully moved several pieces of equipment and personnel from ship to shore and then to different locations around Kuwait.