U.S. forces are expected in the coming days to resume delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza via the Defense Department’s Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore pier, a senior military official said today.  

Navy Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, said U.S. troops have successfully reattached the temporary causeway to the beach in Gaza with the assistance of Israel Defense Force engineers following a a weather-related break in the pier. 

“To be sure, this method of delivering aid from the sea to the people of Gaza has already proved to be effective,” Cooper said. “During its previous weeklong period of operation, the temporary pier delivered 1,000 metric tons of aid — more than 2 million pounds — to the people of Gaza.” 

The U.S. halted the flow of aid using the sea corridor last month after high sea caused damage to a portion of the temporary pier, forcing crews to remove the pier from its anchor point on the Gaza coastline.  

The pier was relocated temporarily to the Port of Ashdod, Israel, where it underwent repairs. The pier was successfully reattached to the anchor point in Gaza earlier today.  

“Weather has always been a factor in military operations, and, as we do around the world every day, we will adjust to the weather as required,” Cooper said. “I personally, and I think we as a command, could not be prouder of the exceptional work by our soldiers and sailors who have done a simply superb job in just getting the pier back on mission in very short order.” 

Cooper also highlighted the “exceptional” partnership between U.S.  Israeli forces, which provided the necessary support to ensure the safe emplacement of the pier to the Gaza beach.  

“They remain completely supportive of our effort to increase the volume of aid into Gaza,” Cooper said. “We also continue to enjoy the support of the international community.” 

The effort, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is being carried out as part of broader efforts by the United States and international partners to surge assistance to Palestinians. 

Soldiers from the Army’s 7th Transportation Brigade at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, and sailors from Naval Beach Group 1 at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, California, were tapped to deploy the JLOTS capability after President Joe Biden called on the military to conduct an emergency operation during his State of the Union address. 

Delivering the capability involved a complex choreography of logistics support and landing crafts that carry the equipment used to construct the approximately 1,800-foot causeway comprised of modular, floating sections linked together.  

The units also constructed a roll-on, roll-off discharge facility that is 72 feet wide by 270 feet long. The discharge facility will remain far off Gaza’s shore and enable cargo ships to offload aid shipments at sea before they’re transported to shore.   

About 1,000 soldiers and sailors are involved in the operation.     

The U.S. is also working closely with international donors who first ship aid into Cyprus where it is screened and packaged before being loaded onto ships to be transported to the temporary pier.   

From the pier, the aid is offloaded into a marshaling area before being distributed farther into Gaza by humanitarian organizations. 

Officials emphasized that no U.S. boots are on the ground in Gaza as part of the operation, and the safety of U.S. forces is the top priority.   

In addition to operating the pier, the U.S. has stood up coordination cells to ensure operations are carried out as safely and efficiently as possible.    

Those coordination efforts continued while the pier underwent repairs. 

Before the pause in operations, the pier accounted for the second highest volume of aid entering Gaza from any crossing and about 30% of the total aid delivered during that period.

Cooper said the U.S. and international partners expect to increase the volume of humanitarian assistance provided through the sea corridor above previous levels once the pier operations resume.  

“Thousands of tons of aid are in various stages in the pipeline for delivery,” Cooper said. “And, clearly, our international partners have seen the previous, positive effect that the pier has [had] on the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, and they remain committed to its continued success.”

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