WARRENTON, Oregon — The Oregon coast experienced an amphibious invasion Monday. It was the US Navy, practicing supply delivery via huge hovercraft. The drill was to prepare sailors for supplying coastal communities in the event of a natural disaster, like an earthquake.
The Navy calls its hovercraft "Landing Craft Air Cushion" (LCAC). It ran two LCAC’s from a ship offshore up onto Sunset Beach south of Warrenton twice on Monday, the first trip offloading trucks and supplies.
The hovercraft can carry up to 60 tons. They also make a lot of noise, and are impressive to see. Dozens of people came out to watch the drill, from a safe distance.
One Navy veteran took a special interest in the amphibious drill.
"Serving in the Navy in submarines as long as I did, I never got to see anything like this, so this will be exciting," Gene Cochran, of Port Orchard, Wash., said.
Cochran said it was worth the trip.
"I would have recommended any who could be here to see this," Cochran said. "Having this capability in time of emergency, let alone emergency for our country, is pretty impressive."
The US Navy worked with the Oregon Military Department and Clatsop County Emergency Management to do the drill. A C-130 also did a fly-by, demonstrating how supplies could be dropped to the beach from the air.