MEDITERRANEAN SEA (NNS) -- Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4 and Beachmaster Unit (BMU) 2 play a vital role in the various amphibious mission capabilities of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21).
In addition to New York's organic small craft, ACU-4 and BMU-2 provide two landing craft, air cushions (LCAC) capable of amphibious landing. The LCAC's design allows it to land on 70 percent of the world's coastal beaches. The craft can reach approximately 50 knots and carry roughly 70 tons. The vessels are used to transport vehicles, necessary cargo, and personnel to the beach in the event that our landing forces are called to complete amphibious tasking ashore.
"The LCAC gives the amphibious assault commander a high speed platform able to conduct over the horizon missions for quick insertions and extractions with the added benefit of keeping the support ship out of harm's way when launching and recovering," said Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 1st Class Louis Finger, ACU-4's leading petty officer. "This versatile platform's capabilities do not end with the battlefield; the craft can also perform supply cargo support missions during humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts as well."
ACU-4 is overall in charge of the operation of the craft. When it is time for the craft to storm the beach, BMU-2 springs into action. The crew researches the beach prior to sending the craft ashore, choosing the most suitable location for amphibious landing.
"Beachmaster Unit 2 provides a safe and secure beach for the amphibious operation of LCACs ashore," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class Edgar Olivarbonilla.
Due to their codependence the two units are nearly inseparable, unable to perform at max capacity without one another.
"Working together makes us a more solid detachment. Without one another, we cannot function as a whole," said Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 3rd Class Briana Morales, ACU-4 crew member.
The duties of the two crews extend further than amphibious operations. The two units have made themselves well known all over the ship due to their team oriented mentality and their overwhelming desire to help whenever they are called.
"ACU-4 personnel have been qualified as aux rover, main rover, engineer officer of the watch, and conflagration station watch," said Olivarbonilla. "Other members have completed repairs on ladder safety chains, welded vacuum, collection, holding, and transfer piping, serviced fire main piping and assisted with the daily upkeep of the vacuum, collection, holding and transfer system."
ACU-4 and BMU-2 have flawlessly integrated themselves as part of the New York's crew. Whenever called upon, ACU-4 and BMU-2 are prepared to make New York a stronger multidimensional unit, whether aiding in large scale operations in New York's designated area of responsibility or completing daily tasks to aid in the ship's upkeep.
New York, homeported in Mayport, Florida, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group embarks the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and includes the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), New York, the Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship Oak Hill (LSD 51), Fleet Surgical Team 4 and 8, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 22, components of Naval Beach Group 2 and the embarked staff of commander, Amphibious Squadron 4.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd7/.