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From Program Executive Office Ships Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS)
-- A demonstration of the Amphibious Assault Direction System (AADS) is being held during this year's Joint Logistics Over the Shore (JLOTS) exercise, now through Aug. 20, at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, Calif.

This demonstration is the first time AADS will support an ashore beach group. Temporary installations on Naval Beach Group 1 equipment, vehicles, ships and Army Landing Craft Utility 2000's will provide the JLOTS commodore the ability to digitally track craft and vehicles during an exercise in real time. AADS is the Navy's only real time situational awareness system for ship and small craft control.

"AADS implementation for this JLOTS exercise is ground breaking and essential to our ability to track our ships and watercraft in dynamic and complicated maritime logistics delivery missions," said Capt. Thomas Wetherald, JLOTS exercise commander.

"With so many craft in the water -- a mix of Navy and Army watercraft as well as security vessels -- only AADS gives us a well defined situational awareness we have not had before. The AADS capability will vastly improve the efficiency of the delivery of equipment ashore and dramatically improve our ability to protect the force."

Operational aboard deploying expeditionary strike groups (ESGs) since 2006, AADS provides ESG commanders the command and control capability to identify, track and digitally communicate with AADS-equipped ships, landing craft, assault craft and forces ashore. The Navy's Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships, has been funded to install this system throughout the entire amphibious fleet, which includes all LHDs, LHAs, LSDs and LPDs, as well as landing craft.

The system is vital to seabasing, a critical capability that allows the military to move forces and supplies without the benefit of a port. Cargo, vehicles, ammunition, troops, fuel and other materiel are discharged from anchored ships onto smaller vessels or barges for movement to shore. With the addition of the AADS to ships involved in JLOTS – an exercise designed to test seabasing concepts – it is anticipated that the orchestration of this complex process will be improved.

"AADS is essential anytime you need to know where friendly forces are for coordination, orchestration and safety" said Richard Downie, AADS acquisition manager for PEO Ships' Amphibious Warfare Program Office (PMS 377).

"Situational awareness displays provide beach masters with superior planning mechanisms. All parties involved are able to see where their 'friendlies' are on a digital display, what craft are en route, estimated arrival times and what their responsibilities are."

Some advantages of AADS include accurate, near-real-time automated tracking of assault craft during ship-to-shore movement, a tactical display of the amphibious objective area and reduced reliance on voice communications and manual plotting. Another significant feature of the system is its over-the-horizon capability. Using airborne relays, it can identify and track as many as 100 net participants that are up to 100 nm apart.

Naval Beach Group 1 will demonstrate the AADS in action during the JLOTS exercise, evaluating the system's capabilities against the group's requirements.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.
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