An analysis of the use of merchant ships and containerization in an amphibious operation
Bourdon, Paul Joseph
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This study analyzes the use of merchant ships and container ization in an amphibious operation. Current sources, trends and problems, as they affect the merchant marine's ability to provide military logistical support to amphibious operations are evaluated. The functional capability of the various types of merchant ships to perform in an amphibious environment are analyzed. Modern concepts for solving the vehicle and container discharge problem from merchant ships are described and evaluated. The current Marine Corps Container System is analyzed for its compatibility with shipping assets and container handling/motor transport equipment. The study concluded that there are many problems when considering the use of merchant ships and containerization in an amphibious operation. These include the shortage of adequate shipping and the inability to efficiently handle containers in an amphibious environment. Among the several recommendations presented are: first, that military planners must establish the number and type of merchant ships required for large scale amphibious operations and work to ensure their availability and second, that the development and purchase of containers and container offloading equipment for use in an amphibious objective area be expedited.
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