Hurry up and wait.

Members of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit rest between interactions of loading personnel, light armored vehicles (LAVs), and Humvees onto land craft, air cushioned vessels (LCAC) at Arta Beach, Djibouti. The movement of assets is part of the USS Kearsarge’s (LHD 3) assigned to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet area for a regular rotation of forces to support maritime security operations, provide crisis response capability, and increase theater security cooperation.

(Photo by Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter, 30 MAY 2013.)

[Posting as a reference source for uniform appearance and vehicle structure in previously posted video. -R]

A landing craft air cushion prepares to enter the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52).

Please tip your parking attendant.

Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class (SW/AW) Marvin Tapper observes a Landing Craft Air Cushion as it approaches the well deck of amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20). Green Bay is part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

(Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Elizabeth Merriam, 23 NOV 2012.)

By the dawn’s early light….

Crew members prepare to conduct boat operations from the well deck aboard the United States Navy amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4).

(During my own Navy seagoing days, we seemed to always have something scheduled for 6am!)

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»CLICK the photo above….it’s gorgeous in big, high definition!

»U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Veronica Mammina, USN


                                           USS Boxer (LHD 4)

Her well deck is flooded to allow for small boats to enter and depart, causing the big ship to be down slightly by the stern during boat operations. LHDs can carry three Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCACs) hovercraft, twelve Landing Craft Mechanised (LCMs), and/or up to 60 Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) in their well deck. A potent beach-landing force!

Evening Quickie #soldierporn: There’s no place like home.

A landing craft air cushion from Assault Craft Unit 4 approaches the well deck of the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5). Bataan sailors and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit Marines are underway conducting routine qualifications in support of PHIBRON-MEU integrated training (PMINT).

(U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Mark Hays, 26 SEP 2013.)


LCAC (Landing Craft Air Cuscion)

The LCAC is a class of air-cushion vehicle (hovercraft) used as landing craft by the USN’s Assault Craft Units.
Concept design began in the early 1970s with the full-scale Amphibious Assault Landing Craft (AALC) test vehicle, but was loaded for the first time in 1987, on the USS Germantown (LSD class).

The lower cushion (duration 300-400h) is vulcanized rubber and nylon and it’s inflated by four fans for lifting, while the two fans for propulsion are ducted and also include rudders. The load capacity is 60-75 tons (equal to a tank M1, M60 and a five HMMWV or 180 marines with equipment). Because of its ability to have draft (almost) equal zero and to advance at great speed (about 40 knots at full load) both in the water on the ground, the LCAC is the best solution and the natural heir of the most famous barges landing.


Let’s get this party started.

The Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7) transits to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014 exercise. Accompanying assets include landing craft cushions(LCAC), assigned to Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 5,  and U.S. Marine Corps CH-53 Super Stallions, assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 465.

Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series since its inception in 1971.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Diana Quinlan, 26 JUN 2014.)