Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD), HMAS Adelaide has achieved another significant milestone on Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2018 (RIMPAC 18) by embarking thirteen US Marine Corps Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV).
The 3d Marine Regiment combat vehicles were embarked during an amphibious docking operation which saw them ‘swim’ 1800 metres from the beach to where the ship remained at station off Kaneohe Bay.
AAV Platoon Commander, Lieutenant Nolan Paduda said that the operation would extend amphibious capability for the Marines and 2nd Battalion (Amphibious), Royal Australian Regiment (2 RAR) soldiers participating in RIMPAC.
“The AAVs are used to conduct ship to shore insertions of US Marines for amphibious operations,” Lieutenant Paduda said.
“By bringing the AAVs on board the Australian ship we’ll be able to insert both the Australian soldiers and US Marines undercover and protected by the vehicle’s armor.”
Lieutenant Paduda said that the AAVs can transport up to 24 fully combat loaded personnel while travelling at a speed of up to 7.2 knots depending on sea conditions.
Fortunately, the calm sea state eased the difficult task of maneuvering the buoyant armored vehicles along the 7.6 meter wide lanes of Adelaide’s well dock, explained Lieutenant Paduda.
“The operation went smoothly. With two to three foot waves and no surf, we were able to maneuver the tracks really well,” Lieutenant Paduda said.
“We drove straight up the dock, the ship’s company had us turn around in a large open area and we strapped the vehicles down.”
With the AAVs successfully loaded, HMAS Adelaide has reaffirmed trials conducted on RIMPAC 16 where her sister ship, HMAS Canberra, first tested that the AAVs could work in conjunction with the LHD’s deck.