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LCAC's Role in Future Operations Addressed During Annual Conference

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS061023-04
Release Date: 10/23/2006 12:00:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Matthew N. Jackson, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- The Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) community held its annual Fleet Support Conference to discuss amphibious community issues at the Marine base here Oct. 18.

Assault Craft Units (ACU) 4 and 5, as well as representatives from Washington, D.C., Little Creek, Va., and Boston Planning Yard discussed maintenance and upgrades, mission planning factors and manning issues, including the training pipeline and detailing.

“During this conference, we look at all the major issues with the functions and operation of LCACs,” said Chief Operations Specialist (SW/AW) David L. Lessenberry. “This year we’re talking about funding, man hours and maintenance because we want to extend [the LCAC's] service life. The LCACs have a service life of 20 years, but we can extend that by 10 years with maintenance and upgrades.”

The Expeditionary Warfare Division at the Pentagon plans to increase funding to increase the LCAC's capabilities, operational applications and service life while decreasing maintenance costs for the assault craft.

“We’re going to extend their service life,” said Lessenberry. “This will improve how effectively we transport Marines to land.”

Needing only six people to operate, LCACs provide for mission-critical needs by transporting supplies, personnel, light assault vehicles and other amphibious assault vehicles onto land.

“Our forces can work without putting a heavy imprint on shore," said Marine Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, commanding general, I Marine Expeditionary Forces; and commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command. "But if we don’t fund the LCACs, we won’t turn them over in good condition to our successors, so funding is necessary because we want to maintain our dominance.”

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