US Army vessels supporting Gaza aid break free, beach on Israeli coast

by Vern Evans

Four U.S. Army vessels supporting the maritime humanitarian aid mission in Gaza broke free from their moorings due to heavy sea states Saturday, U.S. Central Command said.

Two of the vessels are anchored on the beach near the floating pier off the Gaza coast, while the third and fourth vessels are beached on the Israeli coast near Ashkelon, a coastal city approximately eight miles north of the Gaza Strip.

No injuries have been reported and the U.S.-built pier remains fully functional, CENTCOM said, adding that no U.S. personnel will enter Gaza.

Recovery efforts are underway with the assistance and support of the Israeli Navy and the Israel Defense Forces, according to CENTCOM.

The U.S.-involved effort to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip uses an obscure military capability called Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore, or JLOTS, that generally involves sailors and soldiers.

The Gaza pier mission got off to a troubled start after U.S. soldiers and sailors stabbed the floating pier into a Gaza beach earlier this month, with the flow of aid temporarily interrupted when delivery trucks were overran, resulting in the death of at least one individual, The Associated Press reported.

Last week U.S. officials said three U.S. service members involved in the Gaza pier mission suffered noncombat-related injuries. Officials described two injuries as “minor” and “routine” but declined to elaborate on the nature of an injury that resulted in one service member being medically evacuated to a hospital in Israel.

U.S. forces have facilitated the transfer of 1.2 million pounds of aid into Gaza via the floating pier since it became operational, the U.S. Department of Defense said May 23.

Beth Sullivan is the Night and Weekend Editor for Military Times.

Read the full article here

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy