Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
thehill | US military anchors pier to Gaza; aid expected within days, 16 May
The U.S. military has finally anchored its new pier to the coast of Gaza, and officials are expected to soon begin delivery of crucial humanitarian aid to the besieged region.
In a press call, Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, deputy commander of U.S. Central Command [CENTCOM], said the pier was successfully anchored to a beach in Gaza in the early morning hours on Thursday.
Final assembly was in the Israeli port of Ashdod. "This morning—just a few hours ago—the pier was successfully affixed to the beach in Gaza, and in the coming days we will commence the delivery of aid," he said.
Sonali Korde, assistant to the administrator at the United States Agency for International Development's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, said the pier would help address a "gap" in humanitarian assistance for the people of Gaza.
The process for getting supplies to Gaza will begin in Cyprus. Humanitarian assistance will arrive in Cyprus [!] via air or sea. The assistance packages will be screened and then palletized placed on pallets for delivery. These pallets will be loaded onto large commercial and military vessels. Those vessels will sail to a large floating platform anchored several kilometers off the coast of Gaza. "This loading platform acts as a stable workspace to trans[fer] pallets from the larger commercial ships on the smaller U.S. military vessels that can reach closer to shore," Cooper said.
Some Republicans have raised concerns about how the U.S. military can stay out of harm's way, especially after the area near the port on the shore was attacked last month.
Picture duplicating Ashdod, if you're perplexed by HAMAS is not aiming missiles at P&E or CENTCOM "post-war" plans for permanent port authority in Gaza.
archive The Bat Man JLOTS Watch
by Cat on Thu May 16th, 2024 at 10:48:19 PM EST
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tabloid USAToday | U.S. military begins Gaza Strip aid deliveries from floating pier, 17 May
U.S. Central Command said in a statement no U.S. troops went ashore as trucks began using the makeshift dock.
How much aid can the Gaza pier handle?
U.S. officials have said the pier will initially handle about 90 trucks a day, rising to 150 when fully operational. Since March, an average of 171 trucks per day have entered Gaza, according to the U.S.-established Famine Early Warning Systems Network. The U.N. says that prior to Hamas' Oct. 7. attack on Israel about 500 trucks of aid entered Gaza each day. More than 2 million Palestinians in Gaza are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Will Gaza pier put U.S. troops in harm's way?
Some critics have expressed concerns the temporary dock could leave U.S. troops vulnerable to attack.

"I think the pier is a disaster waiting to happen," said Michael DiMino, a former career CIA military analyst and counterterrorism officer who is now a fellow at Defense Priorities, a Washington think tank. "I would just say there are a number of logistical and operational challenges here, and I am very concerned about mission creep, and what starts as a pier becomes U.S. Marines on the beach in Gaza."

by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 05:52:13 PM EST
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The Admiral @ 00:4:19: This is a humanitarian effort, and contrary to what we've been seeing out there in the information space, particularly in the region, it is designed solely, only, for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. There's no ther purpose for this than humanitarian assistance. We're obviously gratedul for all the US service members [soldiers] and our teams at USAID and the State Department for their tireless work over the past few weeks to get this going. Through the humanitarian maritime corridor USAID plans to provide initial contributions of more than 170 metric tonnes of  nutrient rich food bars [MREs] to support 11,000 of the most vulnerable children and adults, ready to use theraputic foods [TREs?] to treat to treat severe wasting in children, and nearly 90 metric tons of supplies such as plastic sheeting for shelter, jerry cans to hold clean water, and hygiene kits to support more than 33,000 people. Just today, as you're seeing here, we're able to get more than 300 pallets of some of that material in there. Now, today is just the start. It's the first day. There's still work that has to be done to reach what we call 'initial operating capability', but what we hope to be able to increase the number of pallets that get in over the coming days and keep that sustainable. We'll keep you up-dated, of course. [...] I want to make one more point before I leave this topic. There is a robust security plan for this effort, and we remain vigilant to potential threats to our service members working on the pier and humanitarian aid organizations and workers [eNTiTIes!] helping with the distribution and collection at the marshaling area on the ground. It remains a top priority. We're going to remain laser focused on ensuring the safety of everybody involved in this effort.

Now, if I could just quickly shift to Ukraine....

by Cat on Sat May 18th, 2024 at 05:22:25 PM EST
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usni | U.S. Soldier Critically Injured During Gaza Pier Operation, 2 Other Service Members Hurt, 23 May
The soldier was working on the staging platform two miles off the coast of Gaza where trucks filled with aid packages are driven from cargo ships onto Army watercraft, the defense officials told USNI News. At the time of the injury, the roll-on roll-off cargo ship MV Benevides was attached to the platform.
U.S. forces have dedicated around 1000 personnel and 16 ships to the operation, including the deployment of at least one counter rocket, artillery, and mortar system on the pier itself. While [Vice Adm. Brad] Cooper would not comment on the force protection deployed by U.S. forces, he said the deployment of these systems is "prudent planning."

The Israeli Defense Forces are the main security providers for the operation and have dedicated a brigade of troops and various air and naval assets. Two U.S. Navy destroyers will aid in the protection of the pier, Military.com reported.

by Cat on Sat May 25th, 2024 at 12:54:44 AM EST
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npr | U.S. Army aid vessels become unmoored near floating Gaza pier, classic trrst technique
Four U.S. Army vessels supporting the humanitarian floating pier mission in Gaza became unmoored by rough seas, military officials said.

Two vessels are now anchored on a Gaza beach near the pier, U.S. Central Command said in a statement on Saturday. The other two are beached further north, on the coast of Israel near Ashkelon. Israeli forces are assisting recovery efforts near the pier, and no U.S. personnel will enter Gaza, CENTCOM said. No injuries were reported, and the pier remains fully functional, according to the statement.

by Cat on Sun May 26th, 2024 at 12:52:00 PM EST
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four (4) grounded Army vessels. One (1) refloated ("recovered"). Three (3) waiting recovery by Thursday.

defense.gov | Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh Holds a Press Briefing, 28 May

In addition, due to high sea states and the North African weather system, earlier today, a portion of the Trident Pier separated from the pier that is currently anchored into the coast of Gaza.  As a result, the Trident Pier was damaged and sections of the pier need rebuilding and repairing.

Therefore, over the next 48 hours, the Trident Pier will be removed from its anchored position on the coast and towed back to Ashdod, where U.S. Central Command will conduct repairs. The rebuilding and repairing of the pier will take at least over a week and will -- and following completion, will need to be re-anchored to the coast of Gaza.
Q: Just one pier, and then another topic.
SINGH: Sure.
Q:  The service members that were injured last week, what's the status of all those three?
SINGH: I believe two of them have returned to duty, but you know what?  Let me—let me take that question on the two. And those were minor injuries, but I believe we had read out that they were planning to be returned to duty, so let me just get back to you on that. The third service member that was in critical condition still remains in critical condition.
Q:  On the airstrike this weekend in Rafah...
SINGH:  Yeah.
Q:  ... was it a U.S. bomb that was used in that airstrike, or a U.S.-provided bomb that was used in that airstrike? Have the Israelis been able to assure you that it wasn't?
SINGH: I do not know what type of munition was used in that airstrike. I'd have to refer you to the Israelis to speak to that.
Q: But if it was, shouldn't—I mean, shouldn't the U.S. be doing something to prevent additional airstrikes like this?

tabloid USA | Towed to Israel for repairs: Pentagon's $320 million pier in Gaza trashed by rough sea and storms
"'When it was operational, it was working,' Singh said."
by Cat on Wed May 29th, 2024 at 12:38:11 AM EST
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