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EWTG Sailors Test Improved Lighterage System

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS051207-02
Release Date: 12/7/2005 9:30:00 AM

By Seaman Ryan Jay Clement, Fleet Public Affairs Center Pacific

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Sailors from Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Pacific and Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 took part in the first training exercise for the Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS) on Green Beach here, Dec. 1.

The Improved Navy Lighterage System is a floating dock system designed to be a more efficient method of moving equipment from ships to shore in locations where conventional port facilities may be damaged, inadequate or non-existent.

“This is a very capable system, and we are very pleased with how it has worked,” said Glen White, program manager for Defense Support Services, LLC.

The dock, which is higher off the water and wider than the old system, is pre-assembled at sea and then pulled onto the shore by two tugs. Once in place, the dock is secured by 2,400-pound anchors. Two of the anchors are connected on shore, and the rest are attached to the individual sections.

“So far, the system has taken three days to set up, and the operation has been as smooth as glass. That’s amazing, considering this is the first time we’ve done this,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class (SW) Kenneth Shell, lead rigger on the dock.

The new lighterage system comes in sections that easily lock together like building blocks to create a variety of floating structures. These structures allow Navy ships to transport heavy equipment such as tanks, trucks, and cargo from ship to shore.

The INLS replaces the existing Navy Lighter (NL) system, which has been used for more than 50 years. The new system is a redesign of NL and is built to be more efficient and reliable in turbulent seas.

“The old system was developed during World War II, and it didn’t have as much space to transport as the new system,” said White. “It was harder to set up and maintain.”

A lighter is a type of flat-bottomed barge, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods.

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