US Army initiates Gaza aid operation with temporary seaport construction

In a major initiative announced by the Pentagon, the Department of Defense is set to launch an emergency operation to construct a temporary pier along the Gaza coastline, aiming to deliver up to 2 million humanitarian aid meals daily. This move follows President Joe Biden’s directive, issued during the State of the Union address, calling for military involvement in such an effort.

The operation will be spearheaded by the U.S. Transportation Command, involving the 7th Transportation Brigade from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, among other units. Utilizing the Department of Defense’s Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) capabilities, the mission plans to commence delivery operations within approximately 60 days.

The JLOTS system, as outlined by Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, includes a floating pier, a nearly 1,800-foot-long causeway connected to the shore, and logistical support vessels and barges to transfer aid from the pier to the causeway for distribution in Gaza.

Maj. Gen. Ryder highlighted the U.S. commitment to expanding aid delivery routes into Gaza, noting recent air drops of over 100,000 meals by the U.S. and Jordan. He emphasized the innovative, modular design of the causeway, allowing for offshore construction and minimizing the need for U.S. ground forces in the area. Cooperation with regional partners, including discussions with Israel regarding security, is crucial to the operation’s success.

The mission, also considering Cypress as a potential aid loading point, aims to ensure the safe and secure distribution of aid. The deployment of JLOTS, a system previously used in various global humanitarian and disaster relief efforts, underscores the U.S. dedication to providing essential assistance to Gaza amidst ongoing challenges.–Web Desk