The U.S. Navy deployed teams aboard the joint high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead to Latin America and the Caribbean to conduct subject matter expert exchanges with partner nation militaries and security forces from May - October 2014. As part of Southern Partnership Station 2014, U.S. military training teams from Spearhead worked with partner nation forces during maritime-focused training exercises, engagements and community relations projects to enhance partnerships and improve operational readiness.
Southern Partnership Station 2014 was a U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM)-directed operation planned by U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (USNAVSO) and U.S. Fourth Fleet.
USNS Spearhead made a variety of port visits to make subject matter experts available to host-nation maritime services.
Southern Partnership Station 2014 teams from Spearhead worked and trained with partner nation defense forces, police departments and coast guards. Assigned units focused on locally identified needs, such as medical readiness, operational risk management, port security, non-commissioned officer professional development, motor maintenance, and patrol craft operations, among others.
Visits included Belize, Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras.
Southern Partnership Station 2014 was focused on sharing knowledge and expertise during port visits so each participating country is able to improve capabilities in what it considers key mission areas. The goal of these engagements was to enhance regional security by sharing expertise, refining coordination and developing open lines of communication. The types of operations and engagements were requested by, and coordinated with, each partner nation.
Southern Partnership Station 2014 was a continuation of the U.S. military’s commitment to the region and is was conducted to support the U.S. Maritime Strategy and SOUTHCOM strategy of establishing and enhancing regional partnerships and promoting hemispheric stability. The Southern Partnership Station concept is based on the premise that strong partnerships enhance regional stability and security.
About the Training Teams and Spearhead Crew
The Southern Partnership Station 2014 training teams -- dubbed Adaptive Force Packages (AFP) -- were comprised of about 100 service members from all military services. There was a command element, and military training teams from Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, and civilian personnel representing Military Sealift Command.
Spearhead's crew of 22 civil service mariners worked for Military Sealift Command and operated, navigated and maintained the ship.
About the Joint High-Speed Vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1)
USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) is one of two high speed vessels under contract to U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command. The JHSVs are capable of transporting approximately 600 tons of military troops, vehicles, supplies and equipment 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots, and can operate in shallow-draft, austere ports and waterways, providing U.S. forces added mobility and flexibility.