US completes construction of floating pier for Gaza aid

The deployment of the JLOTS capability has been delayed due to adverse weather conditions….reports Asian Lite News

Aimed at facilitating humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the United States has announced the completion of construction for the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) system in the Mediterranean Sea.

Speaking at a briefing, Sabrina Singh, the deputy Pentagon press secretary, confirmed the successful offshore construction of the Trident pier section, known as “the causeway,” which will be anchored to the Gaza shore. She highlighted the completion of both the Trident pier and the floating pier sections, marking a crucial milestone in the JLOTS project.

Singh revealed that the cargo ship MV Sagamore is currently docked in Cyprus, undergoing loading with humanitarian aid destined for Gaza. The Sagamore, a U.S.-registered commercial vessel, will utilize the JLOTS system to transport aid between Cyprus and a temporary floating pier located several miles off the coast of Gaza.

The operational process involves unloading cargo from the Sagamore onto Army-owned landing craft utility ships (LCUs) and logistic support vessels (LSVs) at sea. These vessels will then proceed towards Gaza, where they will rendezvous with the Trident pier. Upon arrival, trucks onboard the LCUs and LSVs will drive onto the pier, facilitating the staging of humanitarian aid supplies for distribution within Gaza.

Initial projections anticipate approximately 90 truckloads of supplies transiting the causeway daily, with the capacity to increase to 150 trucks per day once operations reach full capacity. Singh outlined a phased approach, likening the initial stages to a “crawl, walk, run” scenario to ensure the smooth functioning of the system.

While acknowledging the significance of the JLOTS system, Singh emphasized that it complements, rather than replaces, existing land routes for aid delivery into Gaza. She reiterated the importance of opening land crossings to facilitate the flow of humanitarian assistance seamlessly.

Despite the completion of construction, deployment of the JLOTS capability has been delayed due to adverse weather conditions. The floating and Trident piers, currently situated off the coast of Israel near the Port of Ashdod, are unable to be moved to their final location due to forecasted high winds and sea swells.

Since March 2, U.S. Central Command, in collaboration with the Royal Jordanian Air Force, has conducted nearly 40 humanitarian missions, airdropping close to 1,200 tons of aid into Gaza. While the JLOTS construction represents a significant step forward, deployment awaits favorable weather conditions for safe transportation to the Gaza shoreline.

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