Montford Point, Bob Hope Crews Hone Skills


August 2014


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SIU members along with mariners from the Seafarers-affiliated American Maritime Officers (AMO) recently showed off their skills while demonstrating the respective capabilities of the USNS Montford Point and the USNS Bob Hope.


The Montford Point, operated by Ocean Shipholdings for the U.S. Military Sealift Command (MSC), took part in various tests and exercises in southern California from early June to early July. Those maneuvers included a joint operation with the Bob Hope (operated by General Dynamics American Overseas Marine for MSC) and subsequent participation in a multinational maritime exercise known as Rim of the Pacific or RIMPAC.


The Montford Point is the first in a series of mobile landing platforms (MLP), which have float-on/float-off capability, while the Bob Hope is a large, medium-speed, roll-on/ roll-off vessel (LMSR). Both ships carry SIU crews and AMO officers.


When they teamed up in late June near Long Beach, Calif., the Montford Point was brought alongside the Bob Hope, and the MLP’s vehicle transfer ramp (pictured above) was deployed and attached to the other ship before being recovered.


Both before and after that day, the Montford Point performed drills during which it brought aboard and launched Navy boats known as landing craft air cushions (LCAC) as well as Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicles (AAV). The Navy describes the high-speed LCACs as “over-the-beach fully amphibious landing craft, capable of carrying a 60-75 ton payload.” They can carry personnel, weapons, equipment “and cargo of the assault elements of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force.” The Marine Corps says its AAVs are “designed to assault any shoreline from the well decks of Navy assault ships. AAVs are highly mobile, tracked armored amphibious vehicles that transport Marines and cargo to and through hostile territory.”


Observers credited the crew members and officers from the Montford Point and the Bob Hope for their sharp performances and dedication throughout the drills.

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