By Capt. Gary Loten-Beckford, Southern Partnership Station-Joint High Speed Vessel 2015 Public Affairs
GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1), operated by Military Sealift Command, arrived in Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during Southern Partnership Station-Joint High Speed Vessel 2015 (SPS-JHSV 15), Aug. 11.
During the visit, Sailors and civil service mariners assigned to USNS Spearhead will also participate in a community relations event with the local population to clean up Cable Beach at NAVSTA Guantanamo Bay.
USNS Spearhead is deployed in support of SPS-JHSV 15, a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored deployment focusing on enhancing cooperative partnerships with regional maritime services and improving operational readiness for all participating services. In addition, SPS-JHSV 15 provides the opportunity for U.S and partner nation forces to operate in the multinational environment, refine coordination, improve interoperability and demonstrate flexibility.
During Spearhead's most recent visits to Honduras and Belize, the joint-service crew and medical representatives provided training on preventative medicine, taught a Combat Life Saver course to partner nation counterparts and worked on small-scale construction projects. These subject matter expert exchanges (SMEEs) increase partner nation capabilities and enhance interoperability for future engagements.
"We will be in Guantanamo Bay for about a week to refuel and replenish before heading out to continue the mission," said Capt. Douglas Casavant, master of the USNS Spearhead.
"By adapting the embarked forces and equipment onboard, we are able to support our forces in the best way possible. We continue to learn and refine our equipment and procedures so that we can be used in a greater capacity to support our forces." Spearhead's deployment to the region exemplifies the U.S. commitment to cooperative partnerships in the Caribbean, Central and South America.
The only remaining U.S. military base in the region, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay is located at a strategic and operational crossroads of the northern and southern hemispheres. The organic logistics capabilities inherent to U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay enable U.S. forces to operate more effectively and efficiently. Ships and aircraft operating in this region can remain on station longer and minimize the time required for refueling and resupply when utilizing Naval Station Guantanamo Bay for logistics.
The USNS Spearhead's visit to NAVSTA Guantanamo Bay allows for increased operability and longer on-station times in the mission stop nations; Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia and Belize.
"As we make our way to Guantanamo Bay, this will mark the midpoint of the deployment," said Lt. Cmdr. Josh Perry, chief staff officer, SPS-JHSV 15. "The center of gravity of the mission is the adaptive force packages (AFP) ashore, they are on the ground conducting training classes, executing construction projects and building goodwill with our partner nation's military and local communities."
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet support U.S. Southern Command's joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, enhance interoperability and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.