Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Blast from the past....Ship to Shore Connectors...

Note.  I get that "rebranding" is the hotness now.  But legacy is a good thing too.  Can we toss the "new talk" and simply embrace our Marine Corps legacy? Case in point.  Why the switch from landing craft to "connectors"? Quite honestly it's insulting, gives the impression of activity with the changing of a designation and breaks with/sullies the past. Going from LVT to AAV did that, the same with AAV to ACV. By rights BAE got it right.  If we're going for a bit of historical accuracy, the ACV should be called the LVW-1 (Landing Vehicle Wheeled-1).

When the USMC had a SeaBasing Integration Division, Jim Strock was leading an effort to get the concept up and running.  The work they did can be found in the pdf (and others) that I linked to in an earlier blog post.

While going over some of the concepts they floated, the one that landed as the most "doable" now is what you see above...the "Connector Station Ship".

The idea?

Use this SeaBee Barge as an LCAC carrier.  How many could it carry?  Well the illustration shows 5 in the well deck and I'm assuming another 5 on deck.

That would be a formidable "enabler"

In one move we could recover all the lost well deck space/vehicle carriage that the move from the old LST/LSD to the new LX(R)/San Antonio class/America Class ships cost us.

In essence this one move would rebalance our assault from being dominated by air to giving us back our surface assault capability.

If nothing else I'd love to see it on a major exercise within a year or two.  Money is tight so I doubt it would happen but consider this.  It wouldn't need to be run into the ground.  This is a break in case of emergency type ship. Supporting nothing smaller than a Marine Expeditionary Brigade (or a similar sized Army assault) would be its role so the capability more than matches the cost.

Just a thought.  What's yours?

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