USNS Spearhead, Ready for Missions in 6th Fleet, Arrives in Rota


Story Number: NNS140127-11Release Date: 1/27/2014 1:13:00 PM
A  A  A   Email this story to a friend   Print this story
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeff Atherton, USNS Spearhead Public Affairs

ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- U.S. Navy joint, high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) arrived in Rota, Spain, Jan. 27, the first port visit in its maiden deployment.

Spearhead's deployment will support partnership-building and maritime security efforts in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of West Africa and in the Gulf of Guinea.

Spearhead - the first ship in the Navy's planned class of 10 joint, high-speed vessels (JHSV) - will provide a forward-presence for emergent intra-theater transport needs and serve to enhance interoperability among Africa partners as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS). Started in 2007, APS is a spectrum of activities that develops skill sets and interoperability among regional partners.

"Spearhead's vast array of capabilities makes it an ideal platform to operate in complex environments and perform a wide variety of missions," said Navy Capt. Marc Lederer, Spearhead's mission commander, who is embarked for the deployment as part of a military headquarters element. "Spearhead's speed and versatility allow it to be where it matters, when it matters."

As part of APS, Spearhead will participate in two U.S. Naval Forces Africa-facilitated maritime exercises, Obangame Express and Saharan Express, which take place in the Gulf of Guinea and off West Africa, respectively. During these exercises, the JHSV will display its rapid mobility and cargo carrying capacity by expeditiously transiting, with partners embarked, from one operational area to another.

"Africa Partnership Station is important because it emphasizes and strengthens the Navy's already existing global partnerships," said Lederer. "Spearhead's mission is collaborative and the planning and execution of this deployment will pay dividends toward future operational missions."

Spearhead, a 338-foot-long aluminum catamaran with a 20,000 square-foot mission bay area, can be reconfigured to allow it to adapt to a wide-range of operations and missions. Potential missions include carrying containerized portable hospitals for disaster relief to transporting tanks and troops.

"Spearhead is big, fast and capable," said Capt. Douglas Casavant, the civil service master of the 26-person civilian crew responsible for the ship's operations. "This deployment will be a great demonstration of the capabilities of this class of ship."

While on deployment, Spearhead is scheduled to visit and interact with more than 20 nations and sail more than 15,000 miles, highlighting U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet's commitment and emphasis to partnerships and operating forward.

Join the conversation on Twitter and follow us on Facebook.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.

STORY COMMENTS
comments powered by Disqus
Commenting Policy
 
RELATED PHOTOS
Sailors aboard the Military Sealift Command joint high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) heave around a mooring line as the ship arrives in Rota, Spain, for a scheduled port visit.
140127-N-ZY039-149 ROTA, Spain (Jan. 27, 2014) Sailors aboard the Military Sealift Command joint high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) heave around a mooring line as the ship arrives in Rota, Spain, for a scheduled port visit. The U.S. Navy's first-in-class joint, high-speed vessel is on its first operational deployment supporting theater-security cooperation efforts and the international collaborative capacity-building program Africa Partnership Station in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeff Atherton/ Released)
January 27, 2014
RELATED CONTENT
Navy Social Media
Sign up for email updates To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please click on the envelope icon in the page header above or click here.