Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point -- Sailors and civilian contractors worked together to perform scheduled maintenance on a Landing Craft Mechanized-8 boat at Jarrett Bay Boatworks ship yard in Beaufort, N.C., Oct. 28.
The LCM-8 is one of two ships tasked with transportation of cargo and personnel and sustaining various bombing target ranges for the air station.
The Armed Forces have used LCM-8s dating back to beach landings during World War II. They possess the capability to carry up to 120,000 pounds worth of cargo and are more than 70 feet in length. In one load it can transport up to 200 troops or one M48 or M-60 tank with its twin Detroit 12V-71 Diesel engines propelling the boat to speeds up to 9 knots with a full load.
“Without these boats functioning ranges such as (Bombing Target-11Piney Island) would be out of commission,” said Petty Officer 1st Class James Martinez, a boatswain’s mate with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron.
Trash, maintenance equipment and the bombing targets themselves are hauled onto the LCM-8 and taken back to Cherry Point for repairs or replacement depending on their condition.
“Without the two LCM-8s that Cherry Point Sailors operate, it would be impossible for us to maintain all the ranges effectively,” said Martinez. “With such frequent use, the LCM-8s need periodic, scheduled maintenance so stay mission ready.”
The maintenance performed on the LCM-8 began Oct. 20 and is scheduled to conclude Nov.7.
According to Petty Officer 3rd Class Tri Pham, an electrician’s mate with H&HS, the boat is being completely sandblasted and repainted along with routine maintenance on its engine and electrical system.
“My job, while I'm out here, is to ensure the boat is up to standards and capable of continuing to perform its duty,” said Pham, a native of Anaheim, Calif.
The boats receive routine maintenance every two to three years, said Pham.
“Without proper preservation of these vessels, their life-span would decrease dramatically,” he said. “The maintenance that this boat is receiving will allow it to remain useable for the air station.”