JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Pacific Army mariners from 545th Transportation Company, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, shared their unique capabilities with Secretary of the Army Eric K. Fanning during his visit on Saturday, July 27, to Logistic Support Vessel-2, the CW3 Harold C. Clinger.
The 8th TSC Soldiers discussed their respective fields with Fanning and provided a hands-on equipment demonstration.
"It was great being able to meet Mr. Fanning and explain how our mission in the Pacific is critical to supporting other services and other countries if called upon," said Spc. Elvira Francis, a Quartermaster from 605th Detachment, 545th Transportation Co.
Francis briefed Fanning in the bridge of the vessel, showing him the sonar and weapons capabilities, and where the vessel master directs the Army mariners and engineers.
The U.S. Pacific Command's area of responsibility stretches 9,000 miles.
-- More than one third of the region's 36 nations are small islands, with the majority of the population living within 200 miles of the coast.
-- Army Watercraft are a heavily used resource in moving personnel, equipment and supplies where they are needed, when they are needed, throughout the region.
Fanning traveled the passageways of the vessel, visiting where the crew members live and handle every aspect of the ship's operation from engine maintenance and safety to food service and medical needs.
"We're underway about 210 days a year," said Sgt. First Class Tim Carman, the detachment sergeant. "About 80 percent of that involves transporting equipment and supplies to the 'Big Island' for training exercises that enable combat readiness for Pacific units."
Carman went on to say that Army watercraft assets provide capabilities that enable access to unimproved ports, a potentially critical contribution during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
"It's capabilities like this -- and the Soldiers who make them possible -- that are critical to the United States Army and to the United States of America," Fanning said. "This vessel's self-sufficient crew enables a level of readiness and maneuverability that enhances all operations in the Pacific, to include humanitarian assistance and disaster relief."
The vessel's cargo deck is designed to hold any vehicle in the Army inventory and comparable vehicles of the militaries of sister services and partner nations.
-- The ship has both bow and stern ramps for roll-on and roll-off operations and can beach itself to load or discharge cargo over the shore, in as little as four feet of water.
LSV-2 is one of the Pacific's 26 Army watercraft assets providing over-the-water transportation of equipment and personnel to increase maneuverability and readiness throughout the region.