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U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Chad J. Pulliammontague, a communications strategy and operations chief, with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, presents a three-dimensional model of USS Portland (LPD-27) to Marines and sailors during 13th MEU Loading Exercise visit on May 12, 2022. The purpose of this exercise is to provide information of the supportability of ACVs aboard a LPD-Class ship throughout a six-month deployment.

Photo by Cpl. Quince Bisard

13th MEU Conducts ACV LoadEx

18 May 2022 | Cpl. Marcus Melara 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit

U.S. Marines and sailors of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit continued to innovate their combat capabilities while conducting a load exercise with the amphibious combat vehicle aboard the USS Portland, Naval Base San Diego on May 10, 2022.

The LoadEx was designed to inform commanders of the supportability of the amphibious combat vehicles in three different storage configurations of 18, 15, and 12 within the main vehicle stowage area of a Landing Platform Dock class ship.

The 13th MEU will be the first deployed unit to utilize the ACV since replacing its predecessor, the amphibious assault vehicle.

“We understand that we owe it to the Navy because this is a true partnership,” said Meyer. “Maintaining these relationships and proficiency between the team is really something that is paramount for us and this capability.” Col. Samuel L. Meyer,13th MEU commanding officer


Col. Samuel L. Meyer, commanding officer of the 13th MEU, said the load exercise answered questions that were vital to proper loading, maintenance, and operations aboard ship while in transit.

“We intend to take the data and build out what right looks like,” said Meyer. “These load exercises are essential to how we understand the combat capability that can be generated from maritime shipping with the L-Class ships.”

Meyer emphasized the importance of Navy and Marine Corps integration and their direct correlation to mission success.

“We understand that we owe it to the Navy because this is a true partnership,” said Meyer. “Maintaining these relationships and proficiency between the team is really something that is paramount for us and this capability.”

The LoadEx helps produce new methods for ACV employment and risk management.

“Together we learn and create procedures for this new vehicle,” said Meyer. “By doing LoadEx, we understand what risks we’re taking and we’ve done everything we can to mitigate those risks.”

The use of amphibious ship-to-shore connectors such as the ACV is a foundational aspect of Marine Corps operations and is critical to the future force and its ability to remain the Nation’s premier expeditionary force in readiness.