Marine General Visits Seabee-Built ELCAS Pier

By MC3 Kenneth Gardner, PHIBCB 2 Public Affairs

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Lt. Gen. John Wissler (left), commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command and commanding general, Fleet Marine Forces, Atlantic, and Capt. Michael Ott (right), commodore, Naval Beach Group 2, discuss mission capabilities of the Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) during Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) operations during a visit to Amphibious Construction Battalion (PHIBCB) 2, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Fort Story, Virginia, May 17. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Gardner/160517-N-VO150-348)

Lt. Gen. John Wissler, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command and commanding general, Fleet Marine Forces, Atlantic, visited Amphibious Construction Battalion (PHIBCB) 2 to tour the Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) to better understand its capabilities, May 17.

ELCAS is an expeditionary pier system that can be transported and erected anywhere in the world there is a need to move supplies and equipment in support of major combat operations or humanitarian relief efforts. Where port facilities have been damaged or are nonexistent or where surf conditions, beach gradient, or other hydrographic conditions preclude direct discharge of cargo and equipment ashore, the ELCAS can provide the capability to off-load containers from lighters beyond the surf zone and quickly move the cargo ashore via wheeled vehicles on the elevated roadway.

This one of a kind system is part of the Assault Follow-On Echelon (AFOE) that pushes in after the initial force has secured a beach. ELCAS is capable of extending out to a length of 3000 feet and has the ability to offload over 300 containers or pieces of equipment in a 24-hour period.  This ELCAS construction utilized the same components that proved their effectiveness in the massive offload and backload in 2003 at Camp Patriot, Kuwait,  in what was called one of the largest amphibious operations in the history of the United States.

Wissler was accompanied by Captain Michael Ott , commodore of Naval Beach Group (NBG) 2 , and Captain Chris LaPlatney, commanding officer of PHIBCB 2. During the tour they discussed the overall mission capabilities of ELCAS when utilized in joint logistics with the Army, to include the Army Logistics Support Vessel (LSV), the largest vessel that can pull along the ELCAS.

Wissler was given an overall tour of ELCAS by Lt. Luke Castin, the ELCAS officer in charge, and he observed through-put operations, which utilized 200T cranes and turn-tables to off-load Improved Navy Lighterage System craft. Additionally, Builder 1st Class David Fahy, marshalling yard supervisor, and Steelworker 2nd Class Brent Cook, pile yard supervisor, gave tours of their respective areas and discussed the functions of each.

“It was great having Lt. Gen. Wissler on board during our ELCAS throughput operations,” Castin said. “Being able to showcase what the PHIB Seabees ‘CAN DO’ with this one-of-a-kind system is very important.”

“I was truly impressed with the Seabee’s construction expertise and their professionalism,” Wissler said. “The ELCAS pier provides our planners with an additional option to assist connectors in providing logistical support for Marines in areas where the beach may not be suitable for landing.”

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BU1 (SCW) David Fahy (right), PHIBCB 2, discusses how external spudwells are assembled and their function in the ELCAS with Lt. Gen. John Wissler, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command and commanding general, Fleet Marine Forces, Atlantic, during Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) operations, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Fort Story, Virginia, May 17. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Gardner/160517-N-VO150-360)

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Lt. Gen. John Wissler (second from left), commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command and commanding general, Fleet Marine Forces, Atlantic, walks the ELCAS roadway with Capt. Michael Ott (far left), commodore, Naval Beach Group 2; Capt. Chris LaPlatney (second from right), commanding officer, PHIBCB 2; and Lt. Luke Castin ELCAS officer in charge, PHIBCB 2 during Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) operations, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Fort Story, Virginia, May 17. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Gardner/160517-N-VO150-344)

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Capt. Chris LaPlatney (left), commanding officer, PHIBCB 2, provides an overview of the ELCAS condition and mission status to Lt. Gen. John Wissler, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command and Commanding General, Fleet Marine Forces, Atlantic, during Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) operations, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Fort Story, Virginia, May 17. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Gardner/160517-N-VO150-362)

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