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Combat loading

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Title: Combat loading  
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Subject: Amphibious cargo ship, Tolland-class attack cargo ship, Artemis-class attack cargo ship, Andromeda-class attack cargo ship, Water transport
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Combat loading

One of an AKA's cargo holds. The upper level is the main deck, with cargo-handling winches visible. The lower level is the floor onto which cargo is combat loaded. In between is the mess deck where the crew eats their meals.

Combat loading is a special type of unit loading of ships so that embarked forces will have immediately needed weapons, ammunition and supplies stowed in such a way that unloading of equipment will be concurrent with the force personnel and available for immediate combat during an amphibious landing.[1][2] It gives primary consideration to the ease and sequence with which troops, equipment, and supplies can be unloaded ready for combat, rather than to the efficient use of cargo space as in convoy loading where forces and equipment would be joined in rear or secure areas.[1][2] The art and science of combat loading were developed in World War II, and contributed greatly to the success of Allied amphibious campaigns. While combat loading usually took place in forward bases, the Western Task Force for the landings in North Africa was combat loaded at the Army's Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation which was called on again for the Sicily force.[3][4]

Joint exercises in 1941 resulted in a decision that the

Vertically
Where like items are stored in columns that go from the top of the hold on down, so that several types of items are available during any stage of emptying the hold. This means that if four different
Horizontally
Where a single item or class of items—say, rifle ammunition—is stored in a layer that fills the hold from side to side and front to rear. This allows maximum access to the item once it is uncovered.

There are three basic methods of arranging items in a cargo hold:

Methods

When a ship is combat loaded, each item must be stored so it can be unloaded at a time and in a sequence that will most effectively support the planned activities ashore. Whenever possible, the loading scheme must also provide flexibility to accommodate changes in the tactical plan, and to allow access to cargo that is required to meet emergency calls for equipment or supplies.

officer called the "transport quartermaster" or "combat cargo officer" to oversee their proper combat loading. Marine Corps were assigned a specially-trained Attack cargo ships Navy [8]

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