The demonstration began at sea for the distinguished visitors; showing them the ship-to-ship transfer of gear between the USNS Stockham and the USNS John Glenn. The Glenn is an Expeditionary Dock Transfer ship, meaning it can receive cargo from an auxiliary support ship like the Stockham and then use smaller amphibious vehicles to move the gear and personnel ashore. This gives the ship the advantage of being able to move troops and equipment from sea to shore without the use of an established port.
After seeing the gear transfer at sea, the majority of the personnel were taken ashore in a Landing Craft, Air Cushion to view the remainder of the demonstration.
Landing Support Company executive officer, 1st Lt. Katherine Sullivan, described her Marines' role during the demonstration.
"We had a team of Marines on the beach working closely with the Navy's craft landing zone team and as soon as the landing craft, air cushion comes ashore our Marines were staged to facilitate the throughput of the equipment and personnel coming ashore," explained Sullivan. "Our piece as Landing Support Company was setting up the beach operations group … and ensuring that the maritime prepositioned equipment and supplies come ashore to build up a force for the commander."
With the first craft offloaded and the distinguished guests now in a viewing area on the beach, four AAVs and another LCAC carrying multiple vehicles onboard landed on the beach to continue the offload demonstration.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Estefan Takaki was tasked with the maintaining communication between the crafts and the shore.
"Today is important because it shows that we can hit a place fast and get lots of troops and all their equipment where we need them in a timely manner," said Takaki, an information systems technician at BMU-1. "This allows other countries to see our capabilities, but it can also show us where we might have improvements or how we could more effectively use our resources."
Once the last of the personnel and equipment had been offloaded, the visiting personnel were split into groups to see the different functions of logistics involved in beach operations. Water purification, bulk fuel storage and distribution and various vehicles used for transport were some of the highlighted capabilities.
Although the demonstration to world leaders remains the intent behind PALS, Sullivan appreciated the role her Marines got fulfill and the training they received as a result.