USNS Spearhead Arrives in Mayport to Close Out Southern Partnership Station 2015


Story Number: NNS151009-11Release Date: 10/9/2015 1:38:00 PM
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By ENS Carol McKenzie, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

NAVAL STATION MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- USNS Spearhead (EPF 1) returned to Mayport Oct. 9, after deploying from early June to early October in support of Southern Partnership Station-Joint High Speed Vessel 2015 (SPS-JHSV 15).

USNS Spearhead (EPF 1), formerly known as USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) returned to Mayport to drop off members of the crew before it returns to Norfolk, Virginia, Oct. 12 to complete her four month deployment to the Caribbean, Central and South America.

On Sept. 3, 2015, the Secretary of the Navy announced the re-designation of Joint High Speed Vessels to Expeditionary Fast Transports, making USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) newly designated as USNS Spearhead (EPF 1).

Southern Partnership Station is an annual series of U.S. Navy deployments focused on subject matter expert exchanges (SMEEs) with partner nation militaries and security forces in the Caribbean and Central and South America. This year, USNS Spearhead deployed to Colombia, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.

Adaptive Force Packages (AFPs), specialized teams of U.S. service members in the fields of engineering, force protection, medical and diving/salvage, deployed as part of SPS-JHSV 15 on Spearhead, collaborated with each host nation in Central and South America to build partner capabilities in the fields of law enforcement, explosive ordnance disposal, medicine and construction. This partner building to improve operational readiness and interoperability is accomplished through naval-focused training exercises, military-to-military engagements and community relations projects in the host nation.

During this deployment, 97 AFP personnel deployed ashore to conduct operations in conjunction with host nation counterparts. In Honduras, the AFPs purified over 5,000 gallons of water in three communities. In Guatemala, they provided prenatal care to more than 400 women and treated children for parasitic infections. Subject Matter Expert Exchanges occurred at each mission stop, reaching more than 500 people and covering 64 topics. In each port the AFPs also led construction projects to renovate schools, hospitals, roads and culverts as well as provided instruction in communications, explosive ordnance disposal, land navigation, live-fire exercises, river operations and division level tactics.

Upon arriving to Mayport, Captain Ryan Tillotson, director of the Maritime Operations Center, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, greeted the crew. "Your efforts and commitment to this deployment were essential for maritime security operations, mutual cooperation and helped to forge lasting partnerships that are critical to our mission. Thank you for your dedication, your hard work and welcome home," he said.

SPS-JHSV 15 is a U.S. Navy deployment focused on subject matter expert exchanges with partner nation militaries and security forces.

For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.

For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.

 
 
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