26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Sailors aboard the USS Kearsarge loading gear and vehicle onto the ship’s well deck as part of flood relief in Pakistan.
Credit: 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Public Affairs, September 3rd, 2010
September 19th, 2010 / The Amphib is one of the most useful of the USN assets.
As Jim Strock, one of the nation’s leading experts on the seabase commented:
I think what the nation needs to know about amphibious ships and amphibious forces is number one; that out of all the ships in the fleet — all the ships in the fleet — the only ships that can truly extend the full range of seapower ashore are amphibious ships. Aircraft carriers and surface warfare ships have tremendous strike capabilities, and the upcoming Littoral Combat Ships will provide enhancements to our surface combat, anti-submarine warfare, and mine warfare capabilities. But amphibious ships are armed with operationally ready Marine Air-Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs).
Those ships can project and sustain those forces ashore, and can recover them to the seabase when and where required. That’s a degree of operational flexibility that significantly the range of options available to the Combatant Commander. That’s very important in today’s security environment.
Equally important is the fact that amphibious ships can loiter virtually indefinitely with those operationally ready forces fully capable of operating on a rheostat. Other ships can’t do that, or they can’t do it to the extent amphib ships can. The amphib ship with its onboard ability to care and feed and train and refresh and resupply those troops, and house and maintain their aviation and landing craft, those are critical capabilities necessary to support today’s national security strategy.