Assault Craft Unit FIVE
ACU-5 was commissioned on October 1, 1983 in Panama City, Florida, with the first craft delivered in December 1984. The first operational deployment of LCAC was in 1987, during which the first LCAC landing outside the United States was conducted in support of amphibious operations in Okinawa. A detachment of maintenance personnel was deployed to Japan on a permanent basis to support LCAC operations in the Western Pacific.
The largest deployment of LCAC occurred in 1991. Eleven craft were stationed in the Persian Gulf in support of OPERATION DESERT STORM. In October 1992, three LCAC deployed to Sasebo, Japan as DETACHMENT WESTPAC ALFA, establishing a permanent forward presence which remains to this day. During a separate deployment that same month, three LCAC conducted landings in Somalia in support of OPERATION RESTORE HOPE. The command regularly deploys LCAC with the Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARGs) of the Pacific Fleet, conducting operations and exercises throughout the Persian Gulf, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Closer to home, recent operations have included participation in EXERCISE KERNEL BLITZ 1999, the largest amphibious exercise on the west coast, and support in fighting wildfires on Santa Catalina Island. Under a unique agreement between the U. S. Navy and the Los Angeles County Fire Department, LCAC are used to transport fire fighting vehicles, personnel, and equipment from the mainland to Santa Catalina. The agreement was put to use in July 1999 when ACU-5 was called upon to help combat a 100-acre brush fire on the island.
The ACU-5 compound encompasses 48 acres with 225,000 square feet of office and work space to support 40 craft and over 700 personnel. Construction of the current facilities commenced in 1985 and the final phase was completed in the summer of 1996.
OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT: With over 400 personnel assigned, the Operations Department is the command's largest component. The department is comprised of six detachments of craft crews and maintenance personnel that deploy around the world aboard ARGs. The deploying detachments are supported by the Ground Operations and Craft Control Divisions, which maintain command facilities, oversee safe operations on the apron, and provide transportation throughout the command.
MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT: Consisting of 11 Enlisted Ratings and 17 Naval Enlisted Classifications, the Maintenance Department supports all LCAC by performing corrective maintenance through scheduled repair availabilities. The five divisions that make up the Maintenance Department are:
R-1 Hull/Structural: Welding, Sheet metal, Carpentry, and Skirt/Finger Shops
R-2 Mechanical: Hydraulics, Gas Turbine Engines, and Propeller/Lift Fans Shops
R-3/4 Electrical/Electronic: Gas Turbine Engine Electrical, Power and Radar Shops
R-6 Planning and Estimating
R-7 Quality Assurance
SUPPLY DEPARTMENT: Responsible for an annual operating budget of $18 million, the 60 personnel of the Supply Department maintain a warehouse of over 9,000 parts, it's own fuel farm, and a hazardous materials facility. Additionally, supply personnel operate a newly renovated 160 room Bachelor's Enlisted Quarters and a 140 person dining facility.
TRAINING DEPARTMENT: The Training Department provides basic and advanced LCAC operational training for all crewmembers. Instructors bring with them a wealth of LCAC knowledge and experience gained from there tours assigned to ACU-5's sea component. In addition to training and qualifying their shipmates at ACU-5, they maintain close liaison with Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Pacific (EWTGPAC) to support underway training of perspective LCAC crewmembers.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT: The Executive Department includes personnel of the Administrative, Automated Information Systems, Medical, Maintenance Material Management (3M), Personnel, and Master-at-Arms Divisions. The department is responsible for all personnel support actions, operation and maintenance of two Local Area Networks (LANs) and communications networks, supervising of the command's material maintenance management program, the command's Sick Bay, and other administrative functions of the command.
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