TM 55-607/NAVSEA OP 3221 Rev 2
The LASH (lighter-aboard-ship) system is a concept in ocean transportation consisting primarily of a highly versatile
barge-carrying ship and a fleet of cargo lighters. The principal advantage of this system is its ability to load and
discharge its barges rapidly, thus minimizing port turnaround time. In addition, the shallow-draft lighters are essentially
floating cargo holds, which permits service to shallow-water ports and to facilities that lack the complex cargo-handling
gear required for conventional ships. Several United States shipping lines are currently utilizing the LASH ship system:
Delta, Waterman, and Prudential. It can be anticipated that the increased availability of LASH ships, with their high
speed and capability to discharge cargo in relatively undeveloped port areas, will lead to increasing amounts of military
cargo being moved by this method of transportation in the near future. The SEABEE (sea-barge) system is similar in
operational concept to the LASH; however, the military services have not as yet shipped large quantities of ammunition
by SEABEE. Lykes is presently the only shipping line that has SEABEE ships. Individual SEABEE barges are similar in
construction to LASH lighters, the principal differences being the SEABEE barge's greater interior height and length and
its absence of interior corner posts. The general stowage techniques described in this chapter are also applicable, with
minor modification, to the SEABEE system.
Information on the barge-carrying ship systems has been developed for the loading, blocking, and bracing of military
explosives aboard LASH lighters. The stowage guidelines set forth in this chapter are based in part on the results of test
shipments from both Army and Navy ports, and are designed to assist DOD ammunition-outloading activities in the safe,
efficient utilization of LASH ships for the movement of military explosives cargo.
a. The LASH system centers around a fast self-sustaining cargo ship that can accommodate boh lighters and
commercial containers, and families of cargo-carrying barges. Each LASHI ship carries its own gantry crane and is
capable of loading or discharging its lighters at either a pier or deep water anchorage. The number of lighters that can be
carried on the mother ship varies with the ship design.
b. LASH lighters have a smooth rectangular configuration contributing to a quick, efficient stowage. Palletized and
unitized loads of containers are readily stowed ill any LASII lighter. Figure 10-1 illustrates the optimum space utilization
achieved when stowing 500-pound bombs in a LASH lighter.