BLOUNT ISLAND COMMAND, Fla --
Approximately 50 Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, have been living aboard the USNS 1st Lt Jack Lummus since Aug. 5, initially preparing for, and then actively engaging in a Marine Prepositioning Force Exercise aboard Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island, Jacksonville, Fla., Aug. 10 —Sept. 9.
Service members on the Lummus, known as the offload preparation party, are responsible for ensuring cargo is ready to be taken off the ship via in-stream methods such as Lift-on/Lift-off and Roll-on/Roll-off in conjunction with Improved Navy Lighterage Systems to carry the cargo from the ship to MCSF-BI.
During the LO/LO method of offload, cranes on the ship lift cargo over the edge and onto the INLS to be taken to shore. In contrast, the RO/RO allows Marines to drive cargo right off the ship, using a ramp, onto a Roll-on/Roll-off Discharge Facility, which is essentially a floating platform where equipment can be carried on or driven onto and off of.
“I prefer the RO/RO method of offload because it allows us to get more hands-on with the training,” said Lance Cpl. Connor Mitchell, a ground radio repairman with CLR-25. “We get to unchain the equipment, get it ready and drive it off the ship, and at the end of the day you get a sense of accomplishment, because you can see how much work you’ve done.”
The OPP has offloaded more than 28 loads, each consisting of 10-15 pieces of equipment; only six to eight of those loads were offloaded using the LO/LO method.
When asked about operations on ship and the MPFEX, Staff Sgt. Scott Eutzy, the staff non-commissioned officer in charge of the OPP, gave all the credit to his Marines.
“Operations on ship have gone incredibly smooth,” Eutzy said. “I’ve got a great team out here, the Marines always work hard, and if I ever need more people for something all I have to do is ask and they come [down to the ramp] and help.”