Work Continues On Temporary Pier For Gaza After High Seas Force Move


By Joseph Clark

The Defense Department is moving forward with plans to assemble a temporary pier for delivery of humanitarian aid despite relocating the construction site due to weather conditions, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said Monday.

U.S. Central Command announced on Friday that construction of the pier — which is being carried out as part of a U.S. military Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore, or JLOTS, mission — had been moved to the Israeli Port of Ashdod, about 18 miles northeast of the Gazan border.  

“All indications are that we’re continuing to move forward with the construction and the implementation of JLOTS, understanding that variables like the weather and the security situation can always play a factor,” Ryder said Monday.

He said the units assigned to carry out the mission have continued constructing the pier in the vicinity of the Port of Ashdod. 

Construction of the pier began late last month, marking a significant milestone following President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address where he called for the military to conduct the emergency operation. 

Soldiers from the Army’s 7th Transportation Brigade at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, and sailors from Naval Beach Group 1 at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, California, were tapped to deploy the JLOTS capability.  

Delivering the capability involves the complex choreography of logistics support and landing crafts that carry the equipment used to construct the approximately 1,800-foot causeway comprising modular sections linked together, which is known as a Trident pier.  

The units are also constructing a roll-on, roll-off discharge facility that is 72 feet wide by 270 feet long. The discharge facility will remain about 3 miles off Gaza’s shore and enable cargo ships to offload aid shipments at sea prior to being transported to shore. 

About 1,000 soldiers and sailors are involved in the operation.   

Once completed, it will initially facilitate the delivery of an estimated 90 truckloads of international aid into Gaza a day and scale to up to 150 truckloads a day once fully operational. 

Pentagon officials said that construction was just over 50% complete as of last week. 

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said on Wednesday the floating pier has been fully constructed and set up and construction on the causeway is in progress. 

U.S. forces relocated the project to the Port of Ashdod on Thursday due to forecasted high winds and high sea swells, Centcom said on Friday.  

Centcom units have continued to supply humanitarian assistance via airdrops into Gaza, as U.S. forces make progress on establishing the aid corridor from the sea.  

On Sunday, two U.S. C-130 Hercules aircraft dropped more than 25,000 meals ready to eat into Northern Gaza as part of a sustained effort to deliver life-saving aid.

To date, the U.S. has delivered more than 1,170 tons of humanitarian assistance to civilians in need.  

“The DOD humanitarian airdrops contribute to ongoing U.S. and partner-nation government efforts to alleviate human suffering,” Centcom officials said in a release. “These airdrops are part of a sustained effort, and we continue to plan follow-on aerial deliveries.” 

Ryder emphasized that the safety of U.S. service members remains the top priority. 

“Senior leaders managing this project can always make the call whether or not to speed things up or slow things down based on conditions,” he said. “And so, we’re always going to pay attention to the safety of the soldiers that are constructing this — whether it be weather or [the] security situation. But as I said, all indications are that we’re moving forward.”

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