wmbb.com - Navy Base Hovercraft Provides Disaster Relief in Haiti
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Navy Base Hovercraft Provides Disaster Relief in Haiti
01/26/10 - 10:20 PM
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Erin Hawley - bio
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click for larger image Panama City, Fla:

Relief efforts in Haiti continue and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division (NSWC PCD)  is playing a unique roll with a unique watercraft.

It’s called the LCAC. It’s basically a military aquatic hovercraft but it can go from the ship to the shore.

“It still makes me feel proud today when I see a LCAC,” says Robert Adkins, Fleet Support Manager for the Inservice Engineering Agency in support of LCAC. “I’m one of the dinosaurs. I began the program in 1979 here.”

Adkins says the LCAC has been in service since 1984 and NSWC PCD is a key player, providing operational support, engineering and any rapid response needed.

The LCAC was developed for war efforts but just as important is how it’s utilized in relief missions.

Its most unique feature is its ability to go from ship to shore, something incredibly important with a situation like the earthquake in Haiti.

“Its a cargo which comes out of the back of the ship,” explains Marcus Hall with NSWC PCD Expeditionary Maritime Systems, “And carries any relief or personnel equipment from the ship to the actual island and actually can come up on the island.”

Many of the ports in Haiti were destroyed by the earthquake, making them inaccessible to the large Naval carriers but not to the LCAC.

Before the LCAC only 15% of the world’s beaches were military accessible; with the LCAC its 85%.

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