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News | Jan. 23, 2017

USNS Spearhead Set to Deploy, Continuing Promise 2017 Begins

By Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Hendricks U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. Fourth Fleet

Continuing Promise 2017 (CP-17) will begin early next week with the deployment of the Military Sealift Command-operated expeditionary fast transport vessel, USNS Spearhead (T-EPF 1), to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.

CP-17 is a USSOUTHCOM-sponsored, and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet (USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT) conducted deployment, focused on civil-military operations including humanitarian-civil assistance activities comprised of medical, dental, and veterinary support, as well as disaster response training to show U.S. commitment to Central and South American partner nations.

USNS Spearhead, with embarked command element led by Commander, Destroyer Squadron 40 (CDS 40) and various supporting detachments, will visit Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia.

Spearhead is a unique, highly flexible platform that can provide expeditious movement of personnel and equipment ashore to conduct humanitarian civic assistance operations quickly and efficiently. This is the first year that Spearhead will be the deploying platform for Continuing Promise.

As part of CP-17, U.S. military personnel will work closely with their host nation counterparts and health professionals to respond to the day-to-day needs of the citizens and provide medical, dental and veterinary support at a medical site in each nation. An estimated 15,000 people will be provided a variety of medical services including preventative medical treatments, dental screenings and treatment, optometry screenings, eyewear distribution and women’s health services.

CP-17 is a demonstration of the strong U.S. commitment to partners in Central and South America, fostering goodwill and enhancing our collective ability to respond to natural disasters and humanitarian crises. CP-17 will conclude in April 2017.

USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT supports USSOUTHCOM'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.

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