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Elevated causeway system (ELCAS)

Definition The Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) is a military term, referring to a portable, modular causeway used by armed forces for ship-to-shore transportation of heavy equipment, vehicles, and troops. This is deployed in environments where traditional harbor facilities are non-existent or damaged. The ELCAS provides an elevated platform over the water, allowing for the transfer […]

Definition

The Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) is a military term, referring to a portable, modular causeway used by armed forces for ship-to-shore transportation of heavy equipment, vehicles, and troops. This is deployed in environments where traditional harbor facilities are non-existent or damaged. The ELCAS provides an elevated platform over the water, allowing for the transfer of supplies from sea to land smoothly and efficiently.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) is a modular and strategic military solution that is used to facilitate offloading resources from ships when no port facilities exist or the existing ones are not functional.
  2. ELCAS is versatile and can be configured to meet specific requirements based on the mission needs, such as the type and size of the ships, the cargo to be offloaded, as well as the existing sea and terrain conditions.
  3. Designed for rapid deployment and assembly, the ELCAS does not only expedite the logistical process, but it also plays a crucial role in disaster response operations, humanitarian aid missions and military operations where immediate content delivery is a priority.

Importance

The Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) is crucial to military operations due to its function as a temporary, semi-permanent bridge structure specifically designed to facilitate efficient and safe offloading of cargo, equipment, and personnel from cargo ships to shore.

This is particularly vital in environments where port facilities may be damaged, absent, or inaccessible.

It enables military forces to rapidly establish a logistics hub in locations where they are needed, thereby improving response times and operational efficiency.

Thus, ELCAS plays an essential role in maintaining supply chains during military operations, contributing to overall mission success.

Explanation

The Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) is utilized predominantly by military forces to ensure smooth and efficient logistical support during amphibious operations. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the transfer of vehicles, equipment, and personnel from sea vessels to the shore where traditional port facilities are either nonexistent, inaccessible, damaged, or incapable of handling the vast amounts of materiel.

It operates as a temporary, semi-permanent structure that effectively extends the ship’s cargo capacity, providing an improvised, yet highly practical, docking platform. ELCAS is typically used during wartime circumstances, humanitarian aid operations, or any instances where speed, adaptability, and throughput are critical factors.

The system consists of modular, interlocking sections that can be readily assembled and disassembled, allowing for operational flexibility. Furthermore, ELCAS can support heavy equipment and large vehicles, as well as facilitate fuel supply operations.

By enabling the swift, uninterrupted transfer of resources, the Elevated Causeway System significantly bolsters the military’s capability to carry out missions under varied and often challenging environmental conditions.

Examples of Elevated causeway system (ELCAS)

Operation Iraqi Freedom: The U.S. Navy used an ELCAS during the Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 to deliver supplies and equipment. This floating pier system was crucial in providing the necessary logistics tail to sustain the push to Baghdad and beyond. Through this, the military was able to transport large amounts of materials from marine vessels to the beachheads.

Persian Gulf War: During the Persian Gulf War in the 1990s, ELCAS was deployed to transfer goods from cargo and troop ships to shore when conventional port facilities were unavailable or did not exist. This allowed for rapid movement and deployment of military assets, supporting the overall war effort.

South Korea: The U.S. Navy Seabee “Can Do” spirit was displayed again in 1999 when NMCB (Naval Mobile Construction Battalion) 133 constructed an ELCAS-M (Modular), due to limited port availability, off the coast of Pohang, South Korea. This helped streamline supply operations and increased speed and efficiency in unloading military supplies and equipment, even in challenging environmental conditions.

Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) FAQ

What is an Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS)?

The Elevated Causeway System, or ELCAS, is a semi-permanent, modular system designed to provide logistic support over water. It is often used by the military forces to move people, vehicles, and supplies from ships at sea to shore without the use of a traditional port facility.

Who uses the Elevated Causeway System?

The ELCAS is predominantly used by military services like the Navy and Marine Corps during operations that involve naval support. Various humanitarian and disaster relief operations also employ it in areas where traditional port access is disrupted or damaged.

What components make up an ELCAS?

The ELCAS consists of modular components including causeway sections, pierhead modules, beach ramps, roadways and various connectors. These are designed to be rapidly installed and dismantled, providing flexible and adaptive solutions for logistical challenges.

What are the benefits of using an ELCAS?

ELCAS provides a number of benefits, including the ability to transfer large amounts of cargo quickly from sea to land, a high degree of modularity and adaptability to different operational environments, and a significantly quicker setup and breakdown time compared to traditional port facilities.

How is an ELCAS deployed?

The ELCAS is deployed using a combination of sea-based and land-based assets. It is typically transported to the deployment site on a seagoing barge, and then assembled on location using cranes and other heavy equipment.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Amphibious Operations: Military operations launched from the sea, often associated with ELCAS as they provide the means to deliver troops, equipment, and supplies from ship to shore.
  • Logistics Over-The-Shore (LOTS): A strategic military logistics method which utilizes ELCAS to transport cargo ashore without the need for a standard port facility.
  • Seacraft Navigation: The practice and process of navigating seacraft, directly related to ELCAS as they are often operated in marine environments.
  • Marine Transportation Equipment: This can include a variety of vehicles, vessels, and structures like ELCAS, which are key in accessing challenging terrains like beachheads.
  • Joint Logistics: The coordinated effort to manage logistics between different military services or even nations, often implicating systems like ELCAS to ensure operational success.

Sources for More Information

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