Haulin' Assets - HSV-X1 tested at HCAX
Submitted by: MCB Hawaii
Story Identification #: 200492122241
Story by Sgt. Joseph A. Lee



MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii (Sept. 15, 2004) -- The U.S. Army was called to assist in transportation of 1,446 Marines and Sailors and 1,731 tons of equipment to the Big Island of Hawaii for the Hawaii Combined Arms Exercise utilizing an experimental 96-meter, wave-piercing catamaran dubbed the Joint Venture High Speed Vessel-X1 (Experimental 1).

Commanded by vessel master Chief Warrant Officer-4 Charles West, the Joint Venture HSV-X1 has provided the MCB Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay with a way to combine needed training with field-testing of the experimental vessel.

“You call, we haul,” said Chief Warrant Officer-3 Brian Duff, 2nd engineer aboard the Joint Venture. “For transporting troops, this experimental vessel has proven to be quite the asset.”

Able to haul equipment and troops four-times faster than similar-sized sea-going vessels, HSV-X1 is powered by four turbine jet engines, which kick out slightly less than 10,000 horsepower each, totaling for a near 40,000 horsepower vessel, able to cut through the open ocean at a top speed of nearly 40 knots with no use whatsoever of traditional propellers.

“A normal trip to the Big Island aboard an LSV would take about 16-18 hours,” said Duff. “On the Joint Venture, that time is cut down to four to six hours, and we can transport many more troops safely aboard the Joint Venture.”

The jet engines, built by Caterpillar, are able to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in less than five minutes, according to Duff.

As passengers recline in their seats watching the latest DVD releases, the HSV slices through the open ocean, delivering the Marines to the Big Island in record time.

“It was a very smooth ride,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Miguel Saenz, hospital corpsman with Communications Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. “It has a lot more room than other ships I have traveled on since I’ve been in, but it is a bit smaller, so there’s a bit more bobbing than I’m used to. But it was a great ride overall.”

Leased by the U.S. Government from Bollinger / Incat USA, the large catamaran design was originally used as a civilian high speed ferry.

Although the wave piercing design has been around for a number of years, only recently have the militaries of numerous nations been taking an interest in these craft.

In 1998, the U.S. Navy undertook development work and sponsored the evaluation of an Incat 91-meter vessel.

In 1999, the Royal Australian Navy chartered the Incat 86-meter vessel, “Jervis Bay,” for use during the East Timor Crisis. Military personnel from both the Australian and US Naval commands were impressed with the vessels performance and capabilities and its potential for performing various military roles.

In 2001 Incat of Australia formed a strategic alliance with Bollinger Shipyard of the U.S., to market and build military and commercial craft of the Incat wave piercing design. Later in 2001, joint forces from the U.S. Military awarded Bollinger / Incat a contract to build the HSV-X1 for an evaluation of the crafts potential in various trials and demonstrations.

Since it’s military transformation, the Navy and Army have had the opportunity to test its capabilities. Throughout the past year, the Army crew that currently operates the vessel has taken the HSV-X1 on a series of exercises ranging from Okinawa, Japan to Korea, to Thailand, accruing mileage equivalent to a trip twice around the world, as their adventures aboard the vessel come to a close with the assistance in this H/CAX exercise.

“The uses of this vessel in the U.S. Military are endless,” said Duff. “With the speed and cargo-carrying capabilities it has, I wouldn’t be surprised to see many more of these vessels in our future Army and Navy yards.”



Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (Aug. 11, 2004) - Swift High Speed Vessel 2 (HSV-2) sits moored in Pearl Harbor after participating in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC 2004). RIMPAC is the largest international maritime exercise in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands. Photo by: U.S. Navy photo by Journalist Seaman Ryan C. McGinley

http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/mcn20...F?opendocument

Ellie