‘MV Roy P. Benavidez’ departs in support of Gaza pier mission

The Bob Hope-class MV Roy P. Benavidez, a large, medium speed roll-on, roll-off ship, departed its pier in Newport News, Virginia, March 21, carrying heavy equipment and material needed to construct a temporary pier to support the flow of multinational humanitarian aid into Gaza.

The ship will anchor in the area to receive fuel prior to proceeding to the Mediterranean Sea.

MV Roy P. Benavidez, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Ready Reserve Fleet, is transporting components for a floating modular pier system which will be delivered to the U.S. Army’s 7th Transportation Brigade who will construct the temporary pier in the Mediterranean.

This capability is known as Joint Logistics-Over-the-Shore, or JLOTS.

“JLOTS is a critical capability that allows ship-to-shore cargo distribution in the absence of a usable pier,” said Army Lt. Gen. John P. Sullivan, deputy commander, U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM).

“It can be used to augment an established port or to create a pier where one is needed, and allows us to support areas where large populations are isolated from food, water, and other forms of humanitarian aid,” he added.

JLOTS operations are part of USTRANSCOM’s strategic sealift mission.

Operated by Military Sealift Command for the current JLOTS mission, MV Roy P. Benavidez is crewed by contracted merchant mariners and is dry cargo surge sealift carrier capable of transporting up to 380,000 square feet of containerized cargo and rolling stock between developed ports.

“MARAD’s ability to activate the Ready Reserve Force vessel MV Roy P. Benavidez is a hallmark of our strategic sealift capability,” said Maritime Administrator Ann C. Phillips.

“Missions like this, supporting the Armed Forces, highlight the cornerstone capabilities MARAD delivers in support of interagency operations,” Phillips concluded.

Source: U.S. Transportation Command.