Soldier injured in Gaza pier mission transported to Army hospital

by Vern Evans

A U.S. soldier injured during the Gaza pier mission was transported to an Army hospital in Texas, the Pentagon announced on Wednesday.

Pentagon Deputy Spokesperson Sabrina Singh said the soldier was transported on a military aircraft with his family to San Antonio, Texas. The service member is currently receiving treatment at Brooke Army Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition.

The soldier suffered a non-combat injury, along with two other service members, last May in the seas off the coast of the Gaza Strip. His injuries initially required a medical evacuation to an Israeli hospital.

The two other service members sustained only minor ankle and back injuries and went back to regular duties.

The Gaza pier mission uses a lesser-known military capability called Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore, or JLOTS. JLOTS involves constructing a floating pier that can be stabbed into a beach, allowing trucks or tanks to roll off after ships bring them from the staging area to the pier.

The plan, announced by President Biden in his State of the Union address, has been touted as another way to get food to Gazans caught between the Israeli military and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

The injuries sustained by U.S. troops are just one of a number of issues that have faced the maritime humanitarian mission.

On May 25, the pier broke apart after heavy winds and high seas pummeled it only a week after it became operational.

Even in that initial week, the flow of aid was interrupted after aid trucks that had left the beach were overran, resulting in the death of at least one individual, the Associated Press reported.

Singh added that the military hopes to repair the pier and continue the aid mission later this week, as more than 1.1 million people are at risk of experiencing “catastrophic food insecurity,” according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification.

Zamone “Z” Perez is a reporter at Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.

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