Army Reserve Soldiers, from the 481st Transportation Company (Heavy Boat), or 481st TC, stay shipshape by conducting joint operations with the Navy. The Army’s 2000 series of landing craft utility boats, also known as the LCU2000, has a capability unmatched by the Navy.
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The 481st TC has five LCU 2000 ships, each with a crew of 13-18 Soldiers commanded by a warrant officer. The LCU 2000’s each have a 10,000 mile range and hold 90,000 gallons of fuel. They have exceptional maneuverability due to fore and aft propulsion.
The LCU 2000 has outlived the typical lifespan for military equipment and due to its operational success, the Department of the Army has decided to conduct a Service Life Extension Program on the class of vessel.
Because of a draft of less than 10 feet, even with a heavy load, the Navy is working with the Port Hueneme, California-based Army Reserve unit to haul heavy equipment from the California coastal port to its facilities on California’s Channel Islands. This 16-hour round trip voyage yields tangible and intangible benefits for the Navy and the Army Reserve.
“Doing these missions helps the Army and the Navy better learn each other’s language,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jerry Mitchell, 311th Expeditionary Support Command watercraft officer. “Our relationship with the Navy is further enhanced, and we are better prepared for exercises such as J-LOTS [joint logistics over the shore] and for our deployment missions.”