ABOARD USS NEW ORLEANS (NNS) -- The crew of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans (LPD 18) made history Dec. 15 as they executed the ship's first amphibious launch and recovery of an expeditionary fighting vehicle (EFV).
New Orleans, a San Antonio class amphibious transport dock, was designed to fulfill the requirements of the Marine Corps Mobility Triad, including the ability to launch, recover and deploy with the MV-22 Osprey, the landing, craft, air cushion and the EFV.
"It's a milestone event," said Marine Corps Lt. Col. Frank McKenzie, commander at the Amphibian Assault School Battalion (AASB) in Del Mar, Calif. "There is so much that will be gained from this day."
New Orleans' recovery allowed the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch (AVTB) to see how the EFV, which is designed to provide flexibility and battlefield dominance, fits in the well and vehicle decks of San Antonio class ships.
"The EFV is in its final design phase," explained Marine Corps Capt. Paul Rivera, AVTB developmental test officer. "Being able to get it on board the ship that was designed for it has really helped us see what needs to be altered."
The critical capability of the EFV to execute ship-to-shore movements 25 nautical miles from the beach is a major value to ships like New Orleans that are tasked with conducting expeditionary operations in a variety of environments. This capability greatly increases the Navy & Marine Corps' ability to execute over-the-horizon missions.
In addition to the EFV exercise, New Orleans conducted additional training with AASB students operating 12 amphibious assault vehicles.
"You sit through briefs and run training team scenarios in preparation for the evolution," said Ensign Kyle Killingbeck, New Orleans' 1st division officer. "But actually working with the AAVs (Amphibious Assault Vehicle) is an invaluable opportunity for our crew."
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