US Army Ships Arrive in Crete En Route to Gaza

Source: US Naval Forces Central Command / US 6th Fleet / Handout via REUTERS

As reported by ShipXplorer, an armada of US Army ships tasked with constructing a temporary pier or floating dock in the Gaza Strip has arrived in Crete after crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

Departing from Fort Eustis on the James River on March 12, these vessels embarked on their mission following a tragic stampede near a convoy of food trucks in March, resulting in approximately 100 deaths.

As of April 18, 2024, developments in the region indicate a positive shift in the humanitarian situation, with Israel opening a new northern crossing to Gaza, facilitating the flow of more trucks into the Hamas-run enclave.

Comprising five US Army watercraft, including the USAV James A. Loux (LSV-6), USAV Monterrey (LCU-2030), USAV Matamoros (LCU-2026), USAV General Frank S. Besson Jr. (LSV-1), and USAV Wilson Wharf (LCU-2011), the fleet navigated from the Chesapeake Bay, traversed the coast of the Carolinas, and continued onward, passing Bermuda, to reach the coastlines of Spain and Africa.

These vessels hold a crucial mission under the purview of the US Army's 7th Transportation Brigade of the 18th Airborne Corps. In March, US Central Command announced their departure from Joint Base Langley-Eustis to the Eastern Mediterranean, aiming for a roll-on, roll-off dock capability to deliver assistance to Gaza. Equipped with essential supplies and equipment, including the SP4 James A. Loux, Monterrey, Matamoros, and Wilson Wharf, these ships are poised to address pressing humanitarian needs.

According to our data, the ships are currently moored at the Crete naval base in Souda Bay. While USAV Matamoros, USAV James A. Loux, USAV Monterrey, and USAV General Frank S. Besson Jr. are accounted for, the latter seems to have veered off course and is now stationed in the Canary Islands near Tenerife. The reasons for this deviation remain unclear, leaving questions about whether it was dispatched for an alternative mission.


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