April 13, 2024

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The Pentagon says that establishing the sea corridor for aid to Gaza will take two months and will require 1,000 American soldiers

The Pentagon says that establishing the sea corridor for aid to Gaza will take two months and will require 1,000 American soldiers

Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Rader said Friday. There will be no US troops on the ground in Gaza, but the US military will help build a pier and bridge to transport aid.

“This is part of full court journalism by the United States,” Ryder said during a press conference. He added: “The president said that aid is not reaching us enough, so this is a capability we have, and it is a capability that we will implement.”

Ryder said the corridor will take about 60 days to build, but once established, it should be able to serve about 2 million meals a day.

One of the participating units is the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), which is based at Fort Eustis Langley in Virginia.

There remain many logistical questions that Ryder says the United States is discussing with partners, such as who will provide security for the temporary bridge and who will distribute aid once it reaches Gaza's shores.

The general outline of the plan is to load the aid onto ships, likely in Cyprus, and those ships will go to a temporary US military dock in the eastern Mediterranean. At the pier, the aid will be transferred to smaller logistical ships that will then sail to a US military bridge connected to the Gaza coast.

The bridge could be built at sea and then pushed ashore to avoid the presence of American forces on the coast. Ryder said partners will be on shore to receive and install the bridge. After the aid reaches the bridge, it will be transported to the beach and received by partners who will distribute the aid.

Once the ships arrive off the coast of Gaza, it will take 7 to 10 days to assemble the floating dock and bridge, according to a defense official, depending on conditions at sea and whether there are light sources that allow navigation around the sea. – Building the clock.

A separate defense official said the ship carrying the floating dock and bridge is expected to leave Virginia this weekend.

Although there will be no US troops on the ground in Gaza, Ryder acknowledged there was a “definite risk” of Hamas firing on the bridge. But he said that if Hamas truly cares about the Palestinian people, it should allow this aid to reach the people who need it.

Since the security of US forces is a major concern, a defense official said one of the biggest challenges will be anchoring the bridge called Trident Beach. The standard procedure for installing it is to dig it into the beach, the official said. But since American forces will not be able to go ashore, the bridge will likely have to be held in place by tugs. The unit conducting this operation usually also places a wire mesh at the end of the bridge so that oncoming trucks do not get stuck in the sand. In Gaza, the military would have to rely on someone else to do that, the defense official said.

The US Navy will be responsible for protecting the bridge and floating dock, the defense official said.

The announcement of the sea corridor plan will come within a week The United States began airdropping aid To Gaza using military aircraft.

In four rounds of airdrops so far, Ryder said the United States has provided about 124,000 meals — certainly not enough to care for the nearly half a million people suffering from hunger in Gaza, according to UN estimates.

The sea corridor and airdrops are part of the Biden administration's attempt to flood the region with aid. Aid truck convoys are considered the most effective way to deliver aid, but for months, only a few trucks have been able to pass through checkpoints in southern Gaza.

David Martin contributed reporting.

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