|Army-Navy Crew Testing Futuristic Shi|
Army-Navy Crew Testing Futuristic Ship
Fort Eustis, Virginia -- (ANS) October 18, 2001 --A joint crew of soldiers and sailors recently began testing the capabilities of a new high-speed cargo ship that resembles a huge catamaran.
The Joint Venture High Speed Vessel just returned from an 18-day voyage from Tasmania, carrying a crew that included 21 soldiers from Fort Eustis.
The Joint Venture HSV-1 (ANS Photo)
"I've never been on a vessel (before) that could do 35-40 knots," said Staff Sgt. Stephen Muto, a crew member. "It should be a great boat for the Army and Navy."
The crew sailed back from Tasmania at an average of about 28 knots, according to Muto.
"It probably would have taken a month with the LSV," Muto said, referring to the Army's current Logistics Support Vessel. "It only averages about 12 knots."
Upon its return to Norfolk, Va., the Joint Venture HSV-1 was displayed at the Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base at an acceptance ceremony Oct. 11.
At the ceremony, Rear Adm. Robert G. Sprigg, commander of Navy Warfare Development Command and Brig. Gen. Robert T. Dail, commanding general of the U.S. Army Transportation Center and Fort Eustis, spoke about the importance of the experiment to the future of America.
"I think today, we are all seeing a glimpse of the future," Sprigg said. "We're going to find out where this technology fits."
Sprigg said it will be a true joint venture with a crew of members from all services.
"This is truly going to be an exciting time," he said.
Dail said he was most excited about the soldiers, sailors and crew members that will be involved in the experiment.
"They represent the best our nation has to offer," he said. Dail also said that the vessel is all about the future.
"This is not a test about the ship," Dail said. "This is a test of the capability it represents. Will the vessel allow us the capability of en route mission planning and rehearsal?"
Chief Warrant Officer William Davis, vessel master, said he was most impressed by the HSV's speed and maneuvering capabilities.
"The speed of the HSV is phenomenal compared to the speed of the LSV," Davis said.
Muto said some of the differences between the Joint Venture HSV-X1 and the Logistic Support Vessel is the HSV has more electronics on board.
"Computers run most of the systems on the boat," Muto said.
"It's a state-of-the-art vessel," said Spc. Stephan Prevot, a vessel crew member. "It was very exciting to sail, and the crew was outstanding."
The Joint Venture HSV-X1 was leased by the Tank-Automotive and Armament Command. The U.S. military signed a charter contract with Bollinger/Incat USA, L.L.C. for more than $20,000,000, for up to two years.
The high-speed, wave-piercing sealift catamaran vessel, built and designed by Australian shipbuilders, underwent six weeks of technical and structural modifications to meet the military's requirements.
Modifications included the building and installation of a helicopter pad suitable for large military helicopters such as the SH-60 Seahawk and the CH-46 Sea Knight.
Incat also designed and constructed a two-part, hydraulically-operated vehicle ramp that allows rapid loading and discharge of vehicles from the stern or alongside it.
TACOM will use the vessel to demonstrate its ability to perform specific mission scenarios and limited operational experiments and to move troops, heavy military vehicles and equipment, officials said.
The Army's focus for experimentation is to validate and assess the vessel's capability for meeting the needs of Army Transformation, officials said. They said concepts that will be considered are simultaneous deployment and employment of the Objective Force; fight on arrival; en route mission planning and rehearsal; passengers and equipment moving together; bypassing strategic and operational chokepoints; and entry operations at multiple points.
"The speed of the HSV can get troops into theatre quicker, said Chief Warrant Officer Tim Youngpeter, a training crew member.
Chief Warrant Officer Kent Zernicke, a vessel crew member, said it can operate at 40-plus knots.
"The HSV has the ability to push troops and a crew into theatre about four times as fast as the LSV," Zernicke said.
Capabilities to be tested include speed, high payload fraction, longer and more useful ranges and the ability to tailor the payload for optimum mission success.
The joint-service experiment will be coordinated by the Navy Warfare Development Command in close partnership with elements of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
(Editor's note: Information provided by Cindy Sito, Fort Eustis Public Affairs Officer.)