Assault Craft Unit ONE

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Assault Craft Unit ONE
Assault Craft Unit 1 Command Logo.png
Active 01 June 1947 - Present
Country United States
Branch USN
Garrison/HQ NAB Coronado
Nickname Surf Riders
Motto "Initiative, Dependability, Cooperation"
Engagements Korean War
Vietnam War
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Iraqi Freedom
War on Terror
Commanders
Current
commander
CDR Victor A. Lake

Assault Craft Unit ONE , (ACU-1) is a Pacific Ocean Maritime Prepositioning Force in the United States Navy operated under Naval Beach Group ONE out of Naval Amphibious Base Coronado with a Forward Detachment in Sasebo, Japan.[1] ACU-1's force consists of Landing Craft Utility boats (LCU), Landing Craft Mechanized, Mark 8 boats (LCM), and Maritime Prepositioning Force Utility Boats (MPFUB).[2] The sister unit of ACU-1 is Assault Craft Unit 2 in Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia.[1]

History[edit]

Assault Craft Unit 1 traces its roots to World War II as hundreds of LCUs were decommissioned, leaving 30 LCUs in the command of "Centralized Flotilla Command" in NAB Coronado known as LCU Squadron ONE. In July, 1947, a neighboring command, Boat Unit ONE, was created to command LCM-3s and LCVPs. In 1950, the two commands participated in the Battle of Inchon and in every amphibious operation of the Korean War afterward.[3]

In 1963, the LCU Squadron ONE and Boat Unit ONE were merged to make Assault Craft Squadron 1 (ACS-1). In 1968, the CNO directed to have ACS-1 and its Assault Craft Divisions ELEVEN, TWELVE and THIRTEEN be disestablished, and reformed as Assault Craft Unit ONE (ACU 1).

In 1990, in response to the Gulf War, ACU-1 was a first responder, acting to transport and unload cargo from Maritime Prepositioning Ships using LCM-8s. Since the September 11 attacks, ACU-1 has operated outside of a strictly military role, providing humanitarian services and disaster relief. Recently, ACU-1 has operated with other Amphibious Battalions providing Military logistics for the Key Resolve/Foal Eagle Military exercise in South Korea.

LCU 1500 Memorial[edit]

On 28 February, 1968, near Ocean View, Viet Nam, LCU 1500 was hit by a rocket, killing the Radioman. One year later, on 27 February, 1969, while loading ammunition in Da Nang as a part of the Battle of Hue, an enemy rocket hit the nearly loaded craft and killed 13 crew aboard. On 14 March, 1969, ACU-1 began an annual memorial to the 14 sailors that lost their lives on LCU 1500.[4] At the ACU-1 compound on NAB Coronado, a recreational cabana was erected near its piers and painted to look like LCU 1500. The cabana houses pictures of the crew and ship as well as a memorial with the names of the slain Sailors.[5]

Structure[edit]

The six departments of ACU-1 are Landing Craft, Administration, Engineering, Medical, Operations, and Supply.[6] The most prevalent ratings at the command are Boatswain's Mates (BM), Enginemen (EN), Quartermasters (QM), and Undesignated Seamen (SN). Secondary and support ratings at ACU-1 include Culinary Specialists (CS), Damage Controlmen (DC), Electrician's Mates (EM), Hull Maintenance Technicians (HT), Logistics Specialists (LS), Machinist's Mates (MM), Operations Specialists (OS), Navy Counselors (NC), and Yeomen (YN).

The LC department is divided into three divisions; LCU, MPF, and MRF. The LCU Division operates its LCUs which can make long deployments independently or aboard larger amphibious vessels such as LHDs and LHAs. The MPF Department operate and maintain its LCM-8 and MPFUB crafts locally and are mobilized and flown to theaters to perform maritime prepositioning operations within 24 hours notice. The MRF Department operates 6 eleven meter RHIBs.

Awards[edit]

The ACU-1 sign outside its Quarterdeck in March 2013

Through its continuous operation from the Korean War through today, Assault Craft Unit 1 has been awarded 21 different medals, several with multiple awards.

Silver star
Silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver star
Gold star
Gold star
Silver star
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
Combat Action Ribbon with 5 Award Stars Presidential Unit Citation Joint Meritorious Unit Award with 7 Oak Leaf Clusters
Navy Unit Commendation with 7 Award Stars Meritorious Unit Commendation with 11 Service Stars Navy Expeditionary Medal
National Defense Service Medal with 3 Service Stars Korean Service Medal Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with 7 Service Stars
Vietnam Service Medal with 7 Service Stars Southwest Asia Service Medal Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Humanitarian Service Medal with 6 Service Stars Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Gallantry Cross (Vietnam) with Golden Palm and Gold frame United Nations Korea Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) Korean War Service Medal

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Assault Craft Unit ONE (ACU 1)". Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "ACU-1 Assault Craft Boats". Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Assault Craft Unit 1 History". Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON LCU 1500". Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Survivor Remembers Vietnam-era Assault on Landing Craft". Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "ACU ONE Departments". Retrieved 17 March 2013. 

External links[edit]