More
    HomeMilitaryU.S. Army's Strategic Use of Watercraft in Gaza Pier Mission Illuminates Military...

    U.S. Army’s Strategic Use of Watercraft in Gaza Pier Mission Illuminates Military Capability

    Published on

    spot_img

    When the United States Army dispatched its largest watercraft, LSV-1, on a critical mission to construct a pier in Gaza, it signified more than a mere voyage; it showcased the military’s strategic expeditionary capabilities and the inherent duality of its watercraft program.

    The deployment—carried out amidst logistical challenges due to Gaza’s lack of port infrastructure—also involved additional ships to establish a modular causeway system, highlighting the Army’s critical intra-theater lift capacity.

    (INT) Smoke and flames billow after Israeli forces hit a high-rise tower in Gaza City. October10, 2023, Gaza, Palestine: Palestinian militants have started a "war" against Israel, infiltrating by air, sea and land from the blockaded Gaza Strip
    (INT) Smoke and flames billow after Israeli forces hit a high-rise tower in Gaza City. October10, 2023, Gaza, Palestine: Palestinian militants have started a “war” against Israel, infiltrating by air, sea and land from the blockaded Gaza Strip

    As these vessels set sail, the operation ignited a flurry of discussions about the Army watercraft program’s strategic positioning and future, particularly given the Pacific-focused contested logistics efforts.

    Maj. Gen. Jered Helwig recently underscored the importance of such watercraft in the Pacific, raising questions about the balance of deployments against primary missions in this crucial theater.

    The Gaza mission, while primarily constructed as an administrative movement to transport critical capabilities to a region in need, resonates with a broader debate about the Army watercraft’s role.

    Notably, President Joe Biden affirmed that no soldier would be on shore, a promise that steered the choice of the Army watercraft program for this task. However, this commitment and the humanitarian nature of the mission should not overshadow the program’s primary focus on future warfighting demands across various theaters.

    USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206) slides into the water during its christening ceremony at General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Army watercraft, with their unique design allowing operation in shallow depths, played a critical role in the Gaza pier construction. The logistic support vessels were especially valuable due to their capacity to handle fully loaded military vehicles and carry up to 2,000 tons of deck cargo, including containers and other watercraft.

    This deployment may serve as a testament to the Army’s ability to forward-deploy capabilities where needed in a timely manner, yet it raises questions about the allocation and proper utilization of these resources given the potential theater needs.

    While the humanitarian aspect may spotlight the Army’s expeditionary role, it’s crucial to recognize that the force’s structure is not driven by such missions. Instead, these deployments should reflect the demands of future warfare and align with the expeditionary nature of the Army’s evolving concepts.

    Multi-national special operations forces participate in a submarine insertion exercise with USS Hawaii (SSN 776)” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    As the watercraft carried out their mission, they embodied the often-overlooked yet essential element of military operations—unseen until the moment they are needed, much like during historical events such as Operation Market Garden where the naval component, though invisible, was vitally important.

    USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), left, and the UAE navy corvette Al Hili (P176) transit the Arabian Gulf.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The current deployment serves as a reminder of the critical role of Army watercraft, both in peace and potential large-scale combat operations, and the necessity to invest in this capability.

    USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and S Hyuga (DDH 181), right, sail in formation with 16 other ships.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    In conclusion, as the Army navigates these uncharted waters, it is imperative to ensure the strategic relevance and potential of the Army watercraft program are fully understood and appropriately steered.

    USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) refuel at sea.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    With the future landscape of military engagements ever-evolving, it is the task of leaders and strategists to question, debate, and ultimately shape the direction of this vital program to ensure it meets the demands of tomorrow’s conflicts.

    USS Missouri (SSN 780) departs Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0
    HMS VICTORIOUS ceremonial divisions.” by Royal Navy Media Archive is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    Relevant articles:
    Takeaways from the voyage to Gaza for the US Army’s watercraft program, Defense News
    U.S. Still Developing Gaza Pier Details as Crews Work to Prepare Components, USNI News
    U.S. Army Watercraft Are Overlooked, Until You Need Them, The Company Leader

    Latest articles

    FN Five-seveN MRD: A New Era in Precision Handguns

    The FN Five-seveN has stood out in the modern firearms landscape for years, known...

    Raytheon’s Breakthrough: Achieving Milestones in the HALO Program

    The United States Navy is enhancing its offensive prowess and strategic vision by developing...

    Significance of Reagan Test Site in US Hypersonic Weapon Testing

    The US Air Force has garnered attention with the successful trial of a prototype...

    The B-21 Raider of the U.S. Air Force Prepares for Deployment Despite Production Hurdles and Hypersonic Competition

    The B-21 Raider, the United States Air Force's new stealth bomber, is edging closer...

    More like this

    FN Five-seveN MRD: A New Era in Precision Handguns

    The FN Five-seveN has stood out in the modern firearms landscape for years, known...

    Raytheon’s Breakthrough: Achieving Milestones in the HALO Program

    The United States Navy is enhancing its offensive prowess and strategic vision by developing...

    Significance of Reagan Test Site in US Hypersonic Weapon Testing

    The US Air Force has garnered attention with the successful trial of a prototype...