10/1/2015
 
Reinforced Partnership
CJLOTS Successfully Completed by U.S., Republic of Korea

U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) forces successfully inserted a temporary 560 meter (1,840 feet) Trident Pier, established two temporary pipelines, and carried out numerous cargo transfers from sea-to-shore on the west coast of the ROK during the Combined/Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (CJLOTS) 2015 exercise.

Approximately 1,700 personnel worked together to defeat the challenges of significant tidal fluctuations and changes in water levels, of up to eight vertical meters (29 feet), to safely accomplish the first successful connection of the floating pier on Korea’s west coast.

"Working in this environment, with the tidal surge over the mud flats, was extremely challenging, but I’m happy to report we succeeded. We did it," said U.S. Rear Adm. Daniel Fillion, Expeditionary Strike Group Three and joint task force commander. "And the men and women of the ROK military and the U.S. forces working as an alliance is the reason we succeeded."

To combat the less-than-desirable weather conditions, an around-the-clock team of U.S. and ROK meteorologists and oceanographers (METOC) worked through data and weather model analysis to inform the decisions of commanders and harbor masters, directing the complex flow of amphibious cargo movements. The use of different models made it important to collaborate in order to achieve consensus on predictions about the sea and sky conditions.

Sea states, ocean currents, changing beach shape, wind speeds and visibility all factored into U.S.- ROK decision-making about the safe and efficient movement of cargo from the sea to the shore.

"I considered every phase of the exercise for safety," said ROK Senior Chief Petty Officer Lee Soon-hwa, the ROK navy’s lead weather instructor for its Education Command. "I had to think about the operations to advise go, or no-go, decisions."

With conditions being monitored closely, the pier was pieced together miles off shore. The exercise participants constructed and then guided the pier over shallow tidal flats into a pre-cleared channel on the beach enabling the transfer solid and liquid cargo from sea to the shore, improving logistics transfers, and allowing for communications and cooperation for the first time.

"This [CJLOTS] exercise conducted by the ROK and U.S. forces is significant in the sense that it was the first successfully conducted exercise in the West Sea overcoming operational difficulties and limitations," said Republic of Korea Navy Rear Adm. Park Ki-kyung, Flotilla 5 commander.

 

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A floating platform called the roll-on-roll-off discharge facility was also assembled offshore and, upon completion, towed four miles to moor astern USNS 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo (T-AK 3008). Once moored to Bobo, the platform served as a staging area for the cargo to be transferred to the Trident Pier by other sea craft.

The U.S. and ROK each deployed offshore petroleum discharge systems (OPDS) opening up the capability for liquid cargo transfer.

"This expeditionary capability can be used worldwide for humanitarian assistance, disaster relief operations, contingencies or crisis response," said Navy Cmdr. Erik Palin, Naval Liaison Officer for Military Sealift Command Korea. "This success validates the capability for a rapid supply of water or petroleum from sea to shore in times of need."

The U.S. temporary pipeline connected to USNS Vice Adm. K.R. Wheeler (T-AG 5001) ran 3.2 kilometer (2 miles), was capable of delivering 1.7 gallons of product and supplied potable water for the exercise participants.

"Typically, diesel, JP8, JP5 are the products we deliver," said Rick Bower, Senior Mission Specialist of OPDS. "It’s whatever the customers use or require. As soon as the pipeline reached the shore, we hooked up the pipe to the Beach Termination Unit, which will interface with the Army Inland Petroleum Distribution System to allow the product to be pumped to the warfighter."

The entire exercise included approximately 800 ROK personnel from the First Marine Corps Amphibious Landing Support Battalion, the Port Operating Unit of the Transportation Command, and the Logistics Command of the ROK Army led by the ROK Navy Flotilla 5 and roughly 900 U.S. personnel from Expeditionary Strike Group Three, the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), the Military Sealift Command and the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Support Battalion who all joined forces to make CJLOTS ’15 a success.

"The milestones reached from this year’s CJLOTS exercise were the result of extensive planning and cooperation between a number of U.S. and ROK teams," said Fillion. "I could not be more proud of the way that our allied team worked as a coordinated unit to solve the problems we faced here at Anmeyeon Beach. Working together, we have established relationships that will endure well beyond the end of this exercise." Surface Warfare Magazine

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