The Marines are set to resume waterborne unrestricted amphibious combat vehicle (ACV) operations. All such vehicles will be equipped with a new tow-rope system that addresses concerns raised in several after-action field reports. The Marine Corps had suspended ACV operations last September. Any ACV not rigged with the improved tow ropes will be restricted to land mobility, gunnery operations and assault operations in protected waters, the service said in a press release.
“Amphibious operations, including the use of amphibious ship-to-shore connectors, is a foundational aspect of Marine Corps operations and is critical to the future force and its ability to remain the nation’s premier expeditionary force in readiness,” said Lt. Gen. David Furness, Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies and Operations.
Additionally, all units will be required to complete 18 validation and certification tasks before resumption of waterborne operations. The tasks were put in place in order to prevent any recurrences of events akin to the July 2020 incident in which seven Marines and one sailor died when their amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) sank in waters off of San Clemente, California. The tasks address crew training and qualification, ensuring that all personnel embarked on the vehicles are carrying proper equipment, proper inspections have taken place, communication lines are open, and safety boats are nearby.