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PH2 Jeffrey Loshaw Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Va....Marines disembark an LCM-8 mechanized landing craft during an amphibious demonstration for the 14th Annual Inter-American Naval Conference. In the foreground is Assault Craft Unit 4 air-cushioned landing craft LCAC-11. OFFICIAL U.S. NAVY PHOTO (RELEASED)

JOCS Theresa L. Dunn/PH1 Paul Pappas Naval Air Station, North Island, Calif....Trailed by a cloud of blown sand, the air cushion landing craft LCAC-13 moves up Breakers Beach during an amphibious warfare demonstration. OFFICIAL U.S. NAVY PHOTO (RELEASED)

JOCS Theresa L. Dunn/PH1 Paul Pappas Naval Air Station, North Island, Calif....The air cushion landing craft LCAC-13 moves at speed into the surf during an amphibious warfare demonstration at Breakers Beach. OFFICIAL U.S. NAVY PHOTO (RELEASED)

Artist's conception of a Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) operation from the dock landing ship (LSD-41) still under construction

An artist's concept, by J. J. Carr, of a landing craft air cushion (LCAC) landing on a beach. Riding on a cushion of air held beneath its hull by flexible skirts, the LCAC can deliver a 60 to 75-ton payload to a dry landing over most tides, water depths, underwater obstacles and beach gradients. The craft has a range of about 200 miles, and is 88 feet long, 47 feet wide and 23 feet high

An aerial port bow view of the first production air cushion landing craft (LCAC 1) undergoing sea trials. The LCAC carries a 60-ton payload and is designed to lift equipment organic to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. It will replace current pre-World War II landing craft scheduled for retirement in the next decade

An aerial port bow view of the first production air cushion landing craft (LCAC 1) coming up on the beach. The LCAC carries a 60-ton payload and is designed to lift equipment organic to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. It will replace current pre-World War II landing craft scheduled for retirement in the next decade

An elevated starboard quarter of an air cushion landing craft (LCAC 001) entering the well deck of the dock landing ship USS PENSACOLA (LSD 38) during the first underway mating of an LCAC and an LSD. The LCAC is carrying an LVTP 7 tracked personnel landing vehicle

A landing craft air cushion (LCAC 001) enters the well deck of the dock landing ship USS PENSACOLA (LSD 38) during the first underway mating of an LCAC and LSD. The LCAC is carrying an M-151 light utility vehicle, an LAV 25 light armored vehicle and an M-60 tank

A stern view of a landing craft air cushion (LCAC 001) in the well deck of the dock landing ship USS PENSACOLA (LSD 38) after completing the first underway mating of an LCAC and an LSD. An M-60 tank is secured in the cargo area of the LCAC

An elevated starboard quarter view of a landing craft air cushion (LCAC 001) in the well deck of the dock landing ship USS PENSACOLA (LSD 38) after completing the first underway mating of an LCAC and an LSD

An elevated starboard quarter view of a landing craft air cushion (LCAC 001) approaching the well deck of the dock landing ship USS PENSACOLA (LSD 38) during the first underway mating of an LCAC and an LSD. The LCAC is carrying an LVTP7 tracked landing vehicle. (Substandard image)

A starboard quarter view of a landing craft air cushion (LCAC 001) entering the well deck of the dock landing ship USS PENSACOLA (LSD 38) during the first underway mating of an LCAC and an LSD. The LCAC is carrying an LVTP 7 tracked personnel landing vehicle

A starboard bow view of air cushion landing craft LCAC1 underway

Air cushion landing craft LCAC6 offloads vehicles on Red Beach during the amphibious assault Exercise Operation KERNAL BLITZ'87-2

Artillery is offloaded from air cushion landing craft LCAC6 at White Beach during the amphibious assault Exercise Operation KERNAL BLITZ'87-2

A starboard view of air cushion landing craft LCAC 7 underway at high speed during sea trials on Lake Borgne

Marines from Company A, 1ST Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, walk by an Assault Craft Unit 5 (ACU 5) air-cushion landing craft (LCAC) during an amphibious assault exercise

US Marines prepare to unload M60 tanks from Assault Craft Unit 5 (ACU 5) air-cushion landing craft (LCAC) during an amphibious assault exercise

Assault Craft Unit 5 (ACU 5) air-cushion landing craft LCAC 3 deflates its air cushion on shore as another LCAC approaches in the background during an amphibious assault exercise

An Assault Craft Unit 5 (ACU 5) air-cushion landing craft (LCAC) is guided inland by a beachmaster during an amphibious assault exercise

A Marine from Company A, 1ST Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, walks by an Assault Craft Unit 5 (ACU 5) air-cushion landing craft LCAC4 during an amphibious assault exercise

Marines from Co. A, 1ST Bn., 9th Marine Regt., walk by an Assault Craft Unit 5 (ACU-5) air-cushion landing craft LCAC-4 during an amphibious assault exercise

The air cushion landing craft LCAC-4 comes ashore during an amphibious warfare demonstration

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 comes ashore near Fort Story

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 enters the water near Fort Story

An air cushion landing craft (LCAC), with bow ramp down, prepares to take on equipment

Crewmen secure a LARC5 amphibious cargo carrier aboard an air cushion landing craft (LCAC) during an exercise near Fort Story

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 comes ashore near Fort Story

A LARC-5 amphibious cargo carrier is unloaded from an air cushion landing craft (LCAC) on the beach near Fort Story

A Marine uses signal flags to guide air cushion landing craft LCAC9 ashore during operations near Fort Story

A close-up view of navigational equipment inside an air cushion landing craft (LCAC)

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 comes ashore near Fort Story

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 departs from the shoreline near Fort Story

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 departs from the shoreline near Fort Story

A port view of air cushion landing craft LCAC9 underway alongside the dock landing ship USS WHIDBEY ISLAND (LSD 41) near Fort Story

A close-up view of the propellers and loading ramp on the stern of an air cushion landing craft (LCAC) on the beach near Fort Story. The LCAC is transporting an M998 multi-purpose wheeled vehicle and a 5-ton cargo truck

A Marine uses signal flags to guide air cushion landing craft LCAC9 ashore during operations near Fort Story

A Marine uses signal flags to guide air cushion landing craft LCAC9 ashore during operations near Fort Story

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 enters the water near Fort Story

A Marine secures an M998 multi-purpose wheeled vehicle to an air cushion landing craft (LCAC)

A crewman performs routine maintenance on the propeller of an air cushion landing craft (LCAC)

A port quarter view of air cushion landing craft LCAC9 underway near Fort Story

A Marine cameraman films air cushion landing craft LCAC9 as it approaches the shore near Fort Story

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 comes ashore near Fort Story

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 travels over the beach near Fort Story

A close-up view of the propellers and stern ramp of an air cushion landing craft (LCAC) on the beach near Fort Story

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 travels over the beach near Fort Story

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 enters the water near Fort Story

The pilot, navigator and engineer monitor the control panels of an air cushion landing craft (LCAC) underway near Fort Story

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 approaches the beach near Fort Story

A close-up view of a propeller and air inlets on an air cushion landing craft (LCAC). A crewman is securing an M998 multi-purpose wheeled vehicle to the craft

A close-up view of a control panel inside an air cushion landing craft (LCAC)

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 travels over the beach near Fort Story

A port quarter view of air cushion landing craft LCAC9 underway near Fort Story

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 underway near Fort Story

A member of Assault Craft Unit 4 (ACU-4) monitors the control panels of an air cushion landing craft (LCAC)

A port bow view of air cushion landing craft LCAC-8 underway near Fort Story

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 approaches the shore near Fort Story

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 underway near Fort Story

Crewmen prepare to load equipment onto an air cushion landing craft (LCAC)

A port bow view of air cushion landing craft LCAC9 underway near Fort Story

Air cushion landing craft LCAC9 travels over the beach near Fort Story

A Sailor tightens a tie-down chain on the rear of an M1A1 main battle tank on the deck of a Navy air cushion landing craft (LCAC). The Marine Corps is conducting tests on a fording kit for the tank

A front view of a Marine M1A1 main battle tank on the deck of a Navy air cushion landing craft (LCAC). The Marine Corps is evaluating a fording kit for the tank, the main components of which are an exhaust tower at the rear of the hull, two air intake to

A view of the rear of a Marine M1A1 main battle tank showing the numberous chains securing it to the deck of a Navy air cushion landing craft (LCAC). The exhaust tower of a fording kit is mounted on the rear of the tank's hull

A left rear view of a Marine M1A1 main battle tank equipped with a fording kit as it nears the stern ramp of a Navy air cushion landing craft (LCAC). The fording kit, which is being evacuated by the Marine Corps, has as its main components an exhaust tow

A close-up bow view of air cushion landing craft LCAC 12 underway near Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Virginia. The landing craft is carrying a Marine M1A1 main battle tank

A bow view of air cushion landing craft LCAC-12 underway near Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Va. The landing craft is carrying a Marine M-1A1 main battle tank. A second LCAC follows in the wake of the first

A rear view of a Marine M1A1 main battle tank secured to the deck of a Navy air cushion landing craft (LCAC). The Marine Corps is conducting tests on a fording kit for the tank. The kit's exhaust tower is mounted on the rear of the hull and the two air

A Navy beachmaster signals an approaching air cushion landing craft (LCAC) during Exercise VALIANT USHER 88

Air cushion landing craft (LCAC) approach the shoreline during Exercise VALIANT USHER 88

A Navy beachmaster directs an air cushion landing craft (LCAC-6) as it comes ashore during Exercise VALIANT USHER 88

A Navy beachmaster directs an air cushion landing craft (LCAC) as it comes ashore during Exercise VALIANT USHER 88

A Navy beachmaster directs an air cushion landing craft (LCAC-6) as it comes ashore during Exercise VALIANT USHER 88

A Marine tightens a tie-down chain on the rear of an M1A1 main battle tank on the deck of a Navy air cushion landing craft (LCAC). The Marine Corps is conducting tests on a fording kit for the tank

A rear view of a Marine M1A1 main battle tank on the deck of a Navy air cushion landing craft (LCAC). The Marine Corps is evaluating a fording kit for the tank, the main components of which are an exhaust tower at the rear of the hull, two air intake tow

A front view of a Marine M1A1 main battle tank on the deck of a Navy air cushion landing craft (LCAC). The Marine Corps is evaluating a fording kit for the tank, the main components of which are an exhaust tower at the rear of the hull, two air intake to

A port side view of air cushion landing craft LCAC 12 underway near Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Virginia. The landing craft is carrying a Marine M1A1 main battle tank

A port side view of air cushion landing craft LCAC 12 underway near Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Virginia. The landing craft is carrying a Marine M1A1 main battle tank

A Marine M1A1 main battle tank drives up the stern ramp of a Navy air cushion landing craft (LCAC). The Marine Corps is evaluating a fording kit for the tank, the main components of which area an exhaust tower at the rear of the hull, two air intake towe

A right front view of a Marine M1A1 main battle tank equipped with a fording kit for testing. The top of the kit's exhaust tower can be seen at the back of the turret. The Navy air cushion landing craft LCAC-10 is in the background

Navy beachmasters watch as an air cushion landing craft (LCAC-1) comes ashore during Exercise VALIANT USHER 88

A front view of a Marine M1A1 main battle tank secured to the deck of a Navy air cushion landing craft (LCAC). The Marine Corps is conducting tests on a fording kit for the tank

A Navy beachmaster directs an air cushion landing craft (LCAC-6) as it comes ashore during Exercise VALIANT USHER 88

A Marine tightens a tie-down chain on the rear of an M1A1 main battle tank on the deck of a Navy air cushion landing craft (LCAC). The exhaust tower of a fording kit that is under evaluation by the Marine Corps is mounted on the rear of the tank

A close-up port bow view of air cushion landing craft LCAC 12 underway near Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Virginia. The landing craft is carrying a Marine M1A1 main battle tank

A bow view of air cushion landing craft LCAC 12 underway near Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Virginia. The landing craft is carrying a Marine M1A1 main battle tank

A front view of a Marine M1A1 main battle tank on the deck of a Navy air cushion landing craft (LCAC). The Marine Corps is evaluating a fording kit for the tank, the main components of which are an exhaust tower at the rear of the hull, two air intake to

A Marine and a Sailor tighten a tie-down chain to secure an M1A1 main battle tank on the deck of a Navy air cushion landing craft (LCAC). The Marine Corps is conducting tests on a fording kit for the tank

A Navy beachmaster directs the offloading of equipment from an air cushion landing craft (LCAC) during Exercise VALIANT USHER 88

A starboard view of landing craft, air cushion 12 (LCAC 12) underway. The landing craft is assigned to Assault Craft Unit Four (ACU-4)

The air cushion landing craft LCAC-9 comes ashore during exercise Ocean Venture '88

The air cushion landing craft LCAC-8 moves across the beach during exercise Ocean Venture '88

The air cushion landing craft LCAC-9 whips up loose sand as it comes ashore during exercise Ocean Venture '88

A crewman signals from in front of the bridge aboard the air cushion landing craft LCAC-8 during exercise Ocean Venture '88

The air cushion landing craft LCAC-7 heads for shore during exercise Ocean Venture '88

The air cushion landing craft LCAC-7 prepares to get underway during exercise Ocean Venture '88

The air cushion landing craft LCAC-7 leaves the beach during exercise Ocean Venture '88

A Marine tank crewman stands beside his M-60A1 tank on the deck of an air cushion landing craft (LCAC) during exercise Ocean Venture '88