USNS Spearhead

The USNS Spearhead, a Spearhead-class joint high speed vessel, has returned from its maiden deployment in Europe and Africa after military officials tested its capabilities which do not involve transporting people and equipment.

According to the Associated Press, the USNS Spearhead is the first such joint high speed vessel to be deployed by the US Navy. It can transport virtually anything other than fixed-wing aircraft, and it can conduct a variety of missions, including evacuating civilians, transporting soldiers and vehicles between countries, deliver humanitarian aid, and more.

The vessel returned to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story after leaving from there in January. While deployed, the Spearhead delivered over 22.5 tons of humanitarian aid as part of the Navy’s Project Handclasp program to African countries. In addition, the ship conducted various exercises with countries in west Africa, including law enforcement operations to combat illegal trafficking and posing as a pirate vessel so partner nations could practice boarding an enemy vessel.

“When you actually go out and do something in the real world that’s when you’re going to find out where your strengths and weaknesses are,” said Capt. Douglas Casavant, who serves as the ship’s master.

As the AP reports, the Spearhead will port in Virginia for roughly two weeks before leaving for the Carribean Sea, Central America and South America to participate in counter narcotics operations.

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