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Joint Logistics-Over-the-Shore exercise enhances joint capabilities

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CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - The multi-service cargo distribution exercise Joint Logistics-Over-the-Shore officially began June 15.

JLOTS is a critical military capability that allows equipment and sustainment supplies to reach specific areas without the benefit of a fixed port facility. The exercise increases interoperability and improves military readiness by alleviating situational sustainment issues.

"JLOTS is an annual exercise that allows the Navy and Army to practice operations of our logistics equipment over an unapproved beach in a joint environment," said the Commodore of Naval Beach Group Two Capt. Clayton Saunders. "It gives us the opportunity to integrate with one another and to rehearse our ability to move cargo, rolling stock, and containers over a beach."

This capability ensures that military forces can discharge a ship off shore and move cargo into an area of operations without improved port facilities. The Navy, Army, and Air Force are working together to contribute this viable technique to enhance capabilities for tactical or humanitarian missions anywhere in the world. Military logistics is an increasingly joint task, so joint training environment is critical for future missions.

"JLOTS is an important exercise because U.S. Armed Forces may be required to do disaster relief or humanitarian assistance to a port that has been damaged, so with this capability we can still bring the cargo in," said JLOTS Task Force Commander Army Col. Chuck Maskell. "What we are training for here is a worst case scenario. We have many tools at our disposal many of which would be helpful during a natural disaster, including watercraft and causeways."

JLOTS improves upon current alternatives to providing sustainment, such as air support.

"Air support provides a vital link to sustainment, but it can only provide so much," Saunders said. "While you can get some initial support from air, when you start talking about some heavy supplies and fuel, you cannot bring it in by air. We have to have the means to bring that support from the sea to the fight."

Beach Master Unit Two, Assault Craft Unit Two, and Amphibious Construction Battalion Two, all stationed out of Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, are participating in this exercise to assist in both sea and shore aspects.

"The beach master unit provides the ability to traffic and salvage to the beach, the assault craft unit has the displacement craft we are utilizing, and the construction battalion provides the camp infrastructure as well as addition ship to shore support," said Saunders.

"The Navy is the expert in the sea portion and the Army is the expert in the land portion," Maskell said. "Both services have a role working together and that facilitates so there is not a scene between the sea part and the onward moving of the cargo for the humanitarian assistance or disaster relief."

The exercise, by both ground convoy and water movement, started in May and will continue until the beginning of July. The actual discharge of the vessels and the moving of the cargo to the beach will take place between June 15-21.

The 15 million dollar budget is Joint Chief of Staff directed, Transportation Command scheduled exercise. This year's exercise is a simultaneously conducted exercise that is continuing on in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The exercise in Cuba is to support Southern Command and to validate planning factors for logistic supports for migrant operations.

"This exercise has been in the planning stage for the last year," said Army Maj. Joshua Hirsch, the operations officer for JLOTS. "JLOTS really began a long time ago; the planning and hard work that a lot of Soldiers and Sailors have done is now coming to fruition today."
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