Marine Corps turns Hornbeck OSV into landing craft

(CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.) – Gears grinded as the offshore supply vessel HOS Resolution folded its long stern ramp on Friday and prepared to head into the Pacific for an afternoon session with a group of Marines and their drones.

The 254-foot Resolution, under contract with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, pulled into Camp Pendleton’s Del Mar boat basin on Thursday to begin a series of experiments that the Marine Corps expects will help shape operational concepts and design for the Navy’s landing ship medium (LSM), USNI News reported. Resolution will also join the Army’s Project Convergence Capstone 3 experimentation that’s underway with the Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity at Camp Pendleton.

The offshore support vessel is a stern landing vessel that’s a prototype for the future LSM, officials said, and it’s one of three planned contracted OSVs that will shape those decisions for the LSM as a platform in a contested logistics environment.

USNI News photo

“This will teach us what we need to know to give the Navy the specifications that they need to build the medium landing ship,” Cathy Close, a Marine Corps Systems Command spokeswoman, said during a media briefing. “That’s the purpose of this, so we’re out here to learn, test it out, see how much it can hold, what it’s capacity (is), how many Marines can you put on it, how much gear, how many vehicles, what types of vehicles, can you fly things off of it, drones and anything like that.”

Resolution is leased under a one-year contract, with potential to extend for additional years. “We’re going to get two more,” Close said. The vessel will head to Hawaii and then onto Japan, where it’s expected to support the 12th Marine Littoral Regiment and continue experimentation.

Built two decades ago, the New Orleans, La.,-based Resolution was modified in Louisiana and traveled to Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island, S.C., and Mayport, Fla., for ship acceptance work before sailing through the Panama Canal for the experimentation off California.

Those modifications turned a ship built to support offshore oil facilities into a landing ship that can pull up onto a beach or drop its ramp on a rocky coast or quay wall and offload or embark personnel, vehicles, supplies and equipment. The modifications added a 115-foot-long ramp, four landing pylons and two “strong backs” towers to the ship that support the ramp, said Ray Butler, a contractor and member of the Demonstration Assistance Team based at Indian Head, Md.

The vessel, which has a 54-foot beam and pulls a 12-foot draft, can cruise at 8 knots but can travel up to 14 knots, depending on tides and currents. Resolution is crewed by 12 civilian mariners with Hornbeck Offshore Services.

– USNI News


By Professional Mariner Staff