The Logistics Support Vessel 4, Lt. Gen. William B. Bunker, just received an upgrade in lethality.
LSV 4 was recently outfitted with two M153 Common Remotely Operated Weapon System, also known as CROWS. The CROWS system is a weapon-mounted turret that adapts to four standard weapons - the M2, MK19, M240, and the M249.
The weapons system is designed to be mounted on top of a variety of combat vehicles and is remotely controlled by an operator located inside the vehicle compartment. Remote operations of the CROWS allows greater protection from direct enemy fire.
"Some of the new capabilities that the CROWS brings is [are] the automation to defend the vessel within the pilot house instead of Soldiers in fighting positions on the outside," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Christopher Paul, LSV 4, First Assistant Engineer.
Before the outfitting of the CROWS, Soldiers' battle positions placed them in areas with little concealment or cover. The new system allows two Soldiers to sit side-by-side viewing two separate screens in the pilot house and engage the enemy from both sides of the vessel with advanced tracking and targeting enhancements.
Sending bullets remotely is not the only upgrade the CROWS gives LSV 4.
"The CROWS also give the vessel the ability to conduct enhanced day and night video surveillance to be able to identify targets, zoom in, as opposed to the naked eye or binoculars," said Paul.
The CROWS also brings advanced night-vision capabilities that greatly increase the vessel's ability to identify other vessels or objects on the water much quicker.
Paul is hoping that having the new system on the LSV should help in opening the door to an increased role within the Pacific.
"I think this system helps open the door with our Pacific region partners and joint training exercises because this has given us a capability that we did not have before," said Paul. "Before it was primarily transportation, where now we can also participate in live-fire exercises as well as vessel defense and possible convoys of different stances and vessel maneuvering."
Logistical Support Vessel 4 is one of two LSVs that were outfitted with the CROWS, leaving just one more LSV to complete the upgrade for the trio of vessels stationed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
"[I] Think this system [CROWS] is a great opportunity for the Soldiers on the vessel," said Paul. "A lot of them have received great training that they normally would not have been exposed to on systems like this."