Navy Ship to Shore Connector Delivers CH-46 for Air Force Training > Naval Sea Systems Command > Recorded News Module


Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) demonstrated its versatility and efficiency in providing logistical support.

Program Manager, Ships (PMS) 317 Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) Hovercraft and NSWC PCD Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) In-Service Engineering Agent (ISEA) civilian operators played a critical role in delivering a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter, from Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola to Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Fla., Feb. 24, 2022.

With a height of nearly 17 feet, transporting the helicopter overland would have required significant prep work to lower the height to maneuver safely on public roads. air force 96and Test Wing contacted the NSWC PCD and determined that moving the CH-46 by means of a hovercraft was a better option. Craft pilots from the NSWC PCD LCAC then planned the mission in conjunction with the 96th Test Wing, Eglin AFB, Program Executive Office ships, PMS 317, and NAS Pensacola.

LCAC 103 transited from Panama City, Florida to NAS Pensacola where the CH-46 was loaded and then transported to Eglin AFB for use in support of future Command Special Tactical Training Squadron training operations Air Force Special Operations. The LCAC 103 then showed its amphibious capability by transiting from the water to the shore at Eglin AFB where the CH-46 was rolled from the deck onto dry land. LCAC 103 further demonstrated the amphibious capabilities of the SSC by transiting across Santa Rosa Island to the Eglin AFB test range returning to base via the most efficient route to the NSWC PCD. This long-range, overland mission supported test and post-delivery objectives by successfully achieving hours of reliability growth while demonstrating the capabilities required for Navy and Marine Corps expeditionary forces.

This is an example of how the NSWC PCD aligns with Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) strategic objectives at the division level by demonstrating its ability to provide a range of responsive options and services to meet the needs of the real world.

“NSWC PCD is a Navy research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) laboratory, and this mission has shown the fruit of the work of the RDT&E and Acquisition team that provides this essential expeditionary capability to the fleet. It is always a bonus when this capability supports our sister military branches and partners,” said Randy Whitehead, NSWC PCD Marine Base and Air Vehicle Technical Program Manager. “It was a great demonstration of the key capabilities such as the LCAC’s unique combination of range, speed, amphibious versatility and lifting capability.This not only allowed us to execute this mission successfully, but also showed how SSC can bring more to the table. for future distributed maritime operations.

The mission of the NSWC PCD is to conduct RDT&E, in-service support of mine warfare systems, mines, naval special warfare systems, diving and life support systems, amphibious/expeditionary maneuver warfare systems and other missions that take place mainly in coastal (littoral) regions. NSWC PCD has provided a bridge to provide problem solving capability and stands ready at all times to help secure the right people and technical services to support national defense strategies.


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