Gaza Pier Sections Now in Israel Port City for Repairs, Two Army Watercraft Recovered

May 30, 2024 8:20 PM - Updated: May 30, 2024 11:19 PM
U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), U.S. Navy Sailors assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, and Israel Defense Forces emplace the Trident Pier on the Gaza coast, May 16, 2024. The temporary pier, part of the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore capability, will enable the maritime delivery of international humanitarian aid to the United Nations in Gaza for distribution to Palestinian people in need.

All sections of the damaged U.S. humanitarian pier are now in Ashdod, a port city in Israel, where they will undergo repair, the Pentagon said Thursday.

The Israeli Defense Forces detached the anchored remains of the trident pier, which is part of the overall temporary pier constructed to bring aid into Gaza, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters. The pier was damaged after heavy seas and a North African storm system came through.

The pier is expected to be reassembled and put back in place in Gaza once repaired, officials said.

The storm system also damaged a number of Army water vessels that are a part of humanitarian pier effort, with two of the beached vessels recovered and two additional recoveries ongoing, Singh said.

A former Army mariner told USNI News that Army watercraft used in the operation are rated for sea states of two, while the weather caused sea states to rise to four.

“The pier itself [is going to be] pushed beyond the limits of what it could reasonably be expected to withstand,” the former mariner told USNI News. “You don’t have to be a naval Nostradamus [to know] this is gonna fail.”

The Pentagon has blamed the failure, about a month into the pier being operable, on the weather, with Singh saying Tuesday that the Department of Defense could not control the weather. When asked if this would be something that happened whenever there was bad weather, Singh said the North African system was unexpected.

“Now, during this time, if you look back historically, we don’t see storms like that,” Singh said. “We don’t really see weather patterns like that. So, we believe that, and I’m not a meteorologist, so I don’t have a weather map in front of me looking back all through time. But what I can tell you is during this period of time, during these summer months, seas are usually calmer, and so, we should be able to be successful in re-anchoring this pier.”

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
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