Page: Richard's Blog
Jan 16th, 2010 by Richard Lowry
Send in the Marines – Again
U.S. Navy Landing Craft, Air Cushioned (LCAC)

U.S. Navy Landing Craft, Air Cushioned (LCAC)

The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit set sail at 0900 on Saturday, January 16th, from Camp Lejeune, NC. The sailors and Marines of 22nd MEU have been working round-the-clock for over 24 hours to prepare for sea. Now, they are steaming at full speed toward Haiti—a thousand-mile journey. By my calculations, they should be on scene by sometime Tuesday morning.

Colonel Gary Brandl and his staff will spend the next few days gathering intelligence and planning for their mission. The Marines will be training in first aid, brushing up on their French and Creole phrases, and cleaning and preparing their equipment.

You will know when the Marines land. They have some uniquely recognizable tools they are bringing to this life-saving operation. The first vehicle you will see will be their Landing Craft, Air Cushioned (LCAC) hovercraft. The LCACs are actually maintained and operated by the U. S. Navy, but the Marines use these vehicles to move their men, vehicles and equipment from ship-to-shore.

The LCACs are huge, capable of carrying a 60-75 ton payload. They are high-speed, over-the-beach fully amphibious landing craft. LCACs can carry heavy payloads, such as an M-1 tank. Air cushion technology allows this vehicle to reach more than 70 percent of the world’s coastline, while only about 15 percent of that coastline is accessible by conventional landing craft.

These amphibious craft will allow the Marines to quickly bring supplies onto the island. They will be highly visible and when you see one in the next few days, you will know the Marines have landed.

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2 Responses

  • evatheGreat says:

    Actually, those LCACs belong to the Navy, not the Marines. I’m sick and tired of people associating the LCACs with Marines. It’s like saying an amphibious ship belongs to the Marines because they hitch a ride on them. LCACs belong to the Navy. Just because you hitch a ride in my cab doesn’t make it yours.
    Oh, and it might be a little late for this, but watch your OPSEC. posting information like when they are departing and when they should arrive can be potentially dangerous information for our Armed Forces. Best case scenario is they get delayed; worse case scenario—well, remember the USS Cole. Loose Lips Sink Ships

  • Richard Lowry says:

    I was in the Navy and I know that LCACs belong to the Navy. Please note that this is what I wrote – “The sailors and Marines of 22nd MEU have been working round-the-clock for over 24 hours to prepare for sea.”

    As for OPSEC, I wrote this with clearance from the Pentagon, no OPSEC violation here.

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