8th TSC welcomes ‘new’ logistics support vessel

| February 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Ned Walsh, vessel master of the Logistics Support Vessel-3 Gen. Brehon B. Somervell, and Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Threatt, the detachment sergeant for the 168th Transportation Detachment, untie a lei, officially welcoming the vessel to the 8th Theater Sustainment Command fleet during a ceremony February 6 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The ceremony not only welcomed the LSV-3 Somervell to its new home at JBPHH, but also changed its watch back to the mission and requirements of the active Army as part of the 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th TSC. Prior to joining the fleet of the 8th TSC, the LSV-3 Somervell spent the majority of its Army career under the control of the U.S. Army Reserve. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. John D. Howard Jr.)

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Behlin
8th Theater Sustainment Command

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — The 8th Theater Sustainment Command welcomed the U.S. Army vessel Logistics Support Vessel-3 Gen. Brehon B. Somervell to its watercraft fleet during a Hawaiian blessing ceremony, here, Feb. 6.

The ceremony not only welcomed the LSV-3 Somervell to its new home, but also changed its watch back to the mission and requirements of the active Army as part of the 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th TSC.

Prior to joining the fleet of the 8th TSC, the LSV-3 Somervell spent the majority of its Army career under the control of the U.S. Army Reserve.

The 8th Theater Sustainment Command officially welcomed the Logistics Support Vessel-3 Gen. Brehon B. Somervell to its fleet February 6 during a blessing ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The ceremony not only welcomed the LSV-3 Somervell to its new home at JBPHH, but also changed its watch back to the mission and requirements of the active Army as part of the 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th TSC. Prior to joining the fleet of the 8th TSC, the LSV-3 Somervell spent the majority of its Army career under the control of the U.S. Army Reserve. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. John D. Howard Jr.)

Maj. Gen. Susan A. Davidson, the commanding general of the 8th TSC, said that the Pacific region gained an important asset with the addition of the LSV-3 Somervell, and she said the region is leading the way in communication modernization for Army watercraft.

“Long before we sent a crew to Tacoma to begin the LSV-3 Somervell’s voyage to join the 8th TSC, there was a long, arduous process to make others understand the benefits and requirements involved in adding another vessel,” said Davidson. “The addition of this vessel allows us greater flexibility and speed to meet the needs of this very complex region. In moving the Somervell here, U.S. Pacific Command is truly gaining a strategic asset.”

When ancient Hawaiians took long journeys across the region for sustainment missions, they blessed their craft prior to embarking.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Herbert Carter rings the bell aboard the Logistics Support Vessel-3 Gen. Brehon B. Somervell during a blessing ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The ceremony officially welcomed the Logistics Support Vessel-3 Gen. Brehon B. Somervell to the 8th Theater Sustainment CommandÕs fleet. Ringing the bells is the traditional way of sounding that a mariner’s watch is over, and that they are relieved. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. John D. Howard Jr.)

With the arrival of the LSV-3 Somervell, the 8th TSC wanted to welcome the vessel properly to the community it will serve.

Blessing the LSV-3 Somervell was Kahu La’ Akea, a U.S. Army veteran and licensed minister. During his speech, La’ Akea gave a brief history of Hawaiian watercraft and welcomed the LSV-3.

“During ancient times, our own ancestors utilized the double-hulled canoe, called a Wa‘a Kau-lua, to discover new lands and transport people between Tahiti, New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa and Hawaii. Hokulea is the name of our modern day Hawaiian vessel,” he said.

The Logistics Support Vessel-3 Gen. Brehon B. Somervell is blessed by Kahu La Akea, a U.S. Army veteran and licensed minister during an official ceremony February 6 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The ceremony not only welcomed the LSV-3 Somervell to its new home at JBPH-H, but also changed its watch back to the mission and requirements of the active Army as part of the 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th TSC. Prior to joining the fleet of the 8th TSC, the LSV-3 Somervell spent the majority of its Army career under the control of the U.S. Army Reserve. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michael Behlin)

“Today, one of our own Army vessels, the LSV-3 Gen. Brehon B. Somervell exponentially replicates the process of highly skilled transportation and delivery. Let us pray for the Hawaiian christening of the LSV-3, that it may fulfill and exceed its purpose of its many intended missions.”

The LSV-3 is one of only eight in the Army, and is the third assigned to the 8th STB. The other two are the LSV-2 CW3 Harold C. Clinger and the LSV-4 Lt. Gen. William B. Bunker. The vessels have large ramps that allow them to get into places that other boats cannot.

In the event that a port has an unimproved pier, or no pier at all, the LSV can be used to ferry cargo from a larger vessel directly to the shore. Not dependent on seaports, Army watercraft provide fully integrated and organic waterborne transport in support of land force operations.

Crewed by 23 enlisted mariners, engineers and eight warrant officers, Army watercraft like the LSV and its sister, the landing craft utility or LCU, have been essential to the readiness of the Army and joint force in the region. They are capable of moving 2,000 short tons, or the equivalent of 24 M1A1 tanks.

Davidson stressed the importance of adding a third LSV to the 8th TSC’s fleet and thanked the crews and families for their hard work and dedication to the command’s mission.

“The addition of a third vessel allows us the resources needed to support readiness that includes turning over crews, and supporting the time over distance required for a region that is 9,000 miles in diameter,” she said.

“I am very proud of our mariners and crew, and also extremely grateful to their families who allow them to do their job. This is a job that’s often been described as the best kept secret in the Army, but it is also one with a significant amount of time away from their families and friend, without accruing dwell time.”

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