Wednesday, January 28, 2009

USS Peleliu Receives New Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle

Official U.S. Navy file photo of USS Peleliu anchored for welldeck operations and flight quarters. (U.S. Navy Photo by Photographers Mate 3rd Class Ryan M. Kitchell.)

Focus on Defense:

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif., Jan. 28, 2009 -- USS Peleliu (LHA 5) became the first LHA-class amphibious assault ship to receive the new expeditionary fighting vehicle (EFV) in its welldeck during trials off the coast of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 22.

"This is the first time the EFV has ever been aboard a large deck amphibious ship," said Staff Sgt. Niceforo Mendoza, assigned to the EFV Technology Center in northern Virginia. "It's always great to get this vehicle on and off a platform to continue to learn what it can and can't do."

The Navy and Marine Corps will continue to test the new vehicle.

"It's always great to see up close the new equipment the Marine Corps has made for its Marines," said Gunnery Sgt. Jason Sallings, combat cargo assistant aboard Peleliu.

"It's also interesting, considering what I do, thinking about how I'd get them to fit in our stowage areas, because as these vehicles get bigger, these older ships stay the same size and extra room is a premium."

Sallings said the vehicle's draw for the average Marine rests on its physical characteristics.

"The EFV carries the same amount of combat-ready Marines," said Sallings. "But, this vehicle's profile is lower, it carries a larger gun, and it can move almost three times faster."

Peleliu is currently off the coast of Southern California conducting routine operations.

(Report from a USS Peleliu Public Affairs news release.)

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