By Captain Henry Stevens
Strategic and Theater Sealift Program Manager, Program Executive Office, Ships
Over months of at-sea testing, USNS Montford Point (MLP 1), the first ship of our Navy’s class of Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) demonstrated exceptional capabilities and inherent flexibility during her participation in a series of Post-Delivery Tests and Trials (PDT&T) events. These events, held in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California, successfully evaluated and demonstrated the performance of the ship and her systems. We applaud the ship and her crew.
PDT&T began on Montford Point in April 2014, following installation of her Core Capabilities Set (CCS) and in advance of achievement of the ship class’ Initial Operating Capability (IOC), which we look forward to declaring in April 2015.
The images below highlight many of PDT&T events in which Montford Point participated, including the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) end-to-end event, designed to determine the operational effectiveness and suitability of the program. Directly following completion of the end-to-end event, and without pulling into port, Montford Point showcased her capabilities during the Fleet’s Pacific Horizon 2015, a week-long scenario-driven humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise.
Throughout the course of these tests and exercises, Montford Point demonstrated many of her capabilities by interfacing with prepositioning ships and the Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS) to offload equipment and supplies for transshipment to shore by Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC). These capabilities are the cornerstone of our Navy’s seabasing strategy, further enabling large-scale logistics movements from sea to shore forces and prepositioned Marine Corps equipment from the Sea Base to the shore, significantly reducing dependency on foreign ports.
- USNS Montford Point (MLP 1) and vehicle cargo ship USNS Bob Hope (T-AKR 300) are moored alongside of each other during vehicle transfer operations.
- A crew member of Montford Point secures the ship’s aft lines as part of the initial mooring operations with Bob Hope.
- Following completion of the mooring process, the starboard side-port platform of Bob Hope is deployed and lowered.
- With the initial mooring evolution complete, preparations are made to raise the Vehicle Transfer Ramp (VTR) of Montford Point (L) to connect with the platform of Bob Hope (R).
- The VTR of Montford Point is raised and fitted to the ramp of Bob Hope to allow for the transfer of vehicles between the two ships.
- During retrograde operations, vehicles are transported onboard a Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), to be transferred from Montford Point onto Bob Hope. The vehicles include, two M88 Armored Recovery Vehicles (ARV), three Internally Transportable Vehicle-Light Strike Vehicles (ITV-LSV), three Internally Transportable Vehicle-Prime Movers with Ammo trailer (ITV-PM/AT), and three Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) Expanded Capacity Vehicles (ECV).
- Following its offload from the LCAC, an M88 ARV transits on the Raised Vehicle Deck (RVD) and up the VTR to be transferred onto Bob Hope. An ITV-PM, a M970 Refueling system, and a Logistic Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR) Wrecker prepare to transit following the ARV.
- Following its transit up the VTR of Montford Point, the ARV enters the starboard port of the Bob Hope.
- During offload operations held as part of the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) end-to-end event, a Light Armored Vehicle-Logistics (LAV-L) completes its transit off of the VTR.
10. Montford Point is moored skin to skin with the USNS Dahl (T-AKR 313), a Watson class Large, Medium-Speed Roll-on/ Roll-off (LMSR), during Pacific Horizon 2015. Montford Point participated in this fleet exercise immediately following the completion of IOT&E.
11. USMC Vehicles transit from Dahl on to Montford Point and are loaded on two LCACs which will deliver the equipment ashore during the Pacific Horizon 2015 exercise.
12. An LCAC is launched from Montford Point during the ship’s participation in Pacific Horizon 2015.
13. LCACs are used to transfer equipment and vehicles to and from the ship to the shore.An LCAC transports an LVSR ashore during offload operations.
14. Montford Point completes mooring operations with Joint High Speed Vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3), and prepares to deploy Millinocket’s vehicle ramp.
15. Following the deployment of Millinocket’s vehicle ramp, a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) with M149 (Water Buffalo) transits from Montford Point to Millinocket.
16. Members of the EST test the range of motion of the installed weapons mount.