The Navy might have discovered a new use for its aging expeditionary transfer docks.
The Montford Point and John Glenn expeditionary transfer docks are scheduled for decommissioning in the fiscal year 2023. The ships were initially created to address the dearth of expensive amphibious warships. However, Marine Corps authorities assert that comparable warships will soon undertake new tasks. The expeditionary sea base is set to take on a new mission: escorting the future long-range unmanned surface vehicle of the Marine Corps. Other expeditionary mobile base ships have circumnavigated Africa, transited the Suez Canal, and served in the Mediterranean.
Brodie said, “Special operations troops like the ESB, and they have amazing usefulness as well.” Marine Corps Secretary David Brodie states that the expeditionary transfer docks might be converted into a heavy-lift platform for future amphibious vessels. “We must begin seeing the ESB as a bid for unmanned systems,” he argues. It is unknown whether Congress will let the Navy decommission the Montford Point and the John Glenn or whether it will find the funds to maintain them in operation.