Joint, high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) arrived in Libreville, Gabon, for a port visit, April 23.
The port visit serves to continue U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa’s efforts to work with African partners to strengthen maritime partnerships throughout Africa.
“For the past few months, we’ve been demonstrating the capabilities of the JHSV platform and building partnerships throughout Africa as part of Africa Partnership Station,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Marc Lederer, APS mission commander. “Now we are here in Gabon to strengthen our partnership with the Gabonese Navy and build relationships with the Gabonese people.”
Spearhead’s crew has been looking forward to visiting Gabon and interacting with their counterparts. While in Libreville, Sailors and civil service mariners will conduct a service project at a local university, and host a reception for Gabonese dignitaries.
“Everyone is excited about this visit,” said Aerographer’s Mate 1st Class Joseph Tomarchio. “We are going to participate in the community relations service event here, which is not something many of the junior Sailors aboard have had the opportunity to do yet in their careers. I think this will be a great experience for them.”
Prior to the ship’s visit in Gabon, Spearhead participated in Obangame Express, the U.S. Africa Command-sponsored multinational maritime exercise designed to increase maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.
Spearhead deployed in January from its homeport in Little Creek, Va., and is currently on a scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts a full range of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation missions in concert with coalition, joint, interagency, and other partners in order to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa.
Press Release, April 24, 2014; Image:Austal