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US military steps up construction on Gaza humanitarian aid causeway

US sailors and soldiers use bulldozers to emplace a floating causeway, Trident Pier, during exercise Native Fury 20 in the United Arab Emirates, - March 2020. Photo: Lance Cpl. Brendan Mullin

The United States military has stepped up efforts to build a 548-metre-long causeway off the coast of Gaza, in an attempt to deliver critical humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians.

The United States military has stepped up efforts to build a 548-metre-long causeway off the coast of Gaza, in an attempt to deliver critical humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians.

The US military personnel – including Naval Beach Group 1, the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), a component of the XVIII Airborne Corps – have also been deployed to construct a 22-metre-wide by 82-metre-long, temporary pier-like roll-on, roll-off discharge facility.

The temporary causeway construction will remain approximately three miles off Gaza’s shore and enable cargo ships to offload aid shipments at sea prior to being transported to shore, as part of a Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore mission to deliver assistance to Gaza.

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Once offloaded, cargo will be transported to shore along the causeway comprising modular sections linked together, known as a Trident Pier, that will be constructed by the Army unit. The Navy will operate causeway ferries to transport the cargo from the discharge facility to the Army’s floating pier.

“Our capabilities mesh well, and we have already coordinated at the tactical level how we will implement the movement of cargo,” an official Navy spokesperson said.

“This is a routine mission for us, and we’re just falling in together in step to conduct this mission.”

The two-lane causeway has previously been deployed off the coast of Australia in support of large-scale joint defence Exercise Talisman Sabre last year.

Once operational, the temporary pier is expected to be capable of delivering up to 2 million humanitarian aid meals per day. The capability is expected to be operational in approximately 60 days, according to the US Department of Defense.

US President Joe Biden, during his State of the Union Address, had previously called on the US military to increase emergency humanitarian assistance to Gaza. The US has already conducted humanitarian assistance airdrops into Gaza alongside the Royal Jordanian Air Force.

“This is Army watercraft’s moment, and we’re up for it,” according to 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) commander, US Army Colonel Samuel S. Miller.

“The US and the world will see our humanitarian capability on display and in action forward (as the Army and Navy logistics assets deliver critical supplies to civilians).

“The 7th TB(X) is highly trained, mobile, versatile and capable to operate in these types of environments.

“We understand the importance of this mission, and the interests of the world in this regard. When it may seem, at times, we have the weight of the world on our shoulders, we will forge across the water to deliver humanitarian assistance.”

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has also reportedly spoken with Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant on 20 March regarding the negotiations for the release of hostages and a temporary ceasefire in the conflict.

Secretary Austin reportedly raised the need to consider alternatives to a major ground operation in Rafah, reiterated the shared goal of defeating Hamas, discussed the need to do more to protect civilians and urgently increase the flow of aid into Gaza through land crossings.

Robert Dougherty

Robert Dougherty

Robert is a senior journalist who has previously worked for Seven West Media in Western Australia, as well as Fairfax Media and Australian Community Media in New South Wales. He has produced national headlines, photography and videography of emergency services, business, community, defence and government news across Australia. Robert graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Public Relations and Journalism at Curtin University, attended student exchange program with Fudan University and holds Tier 1 General Advice certification for Kaplan Professional. Reach out via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via LinkedIn.
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