USNS Spearhead arrives in Gabon for Africa Partnership Station

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Joint high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) and its embarked detachment of U.S. Navy Sailors, civil service mariners and U.S., Spanish and British Marines arrived in Gabon on April 6 in support of Africa Partnership Station.

While in Port Gentil, Gabon, Spearhead’s embarked military detachment will conduct bilateral training with Gabon military forces to enhance interoperability and partnership. The crew also plans to paint and repair a local orphanage while in port.
“The Gabon phase of Africa Partnership Station will be an exciting one. During our visit, we’ll conduct marine-to-marine training along with medical subject matter expert exchanges, thus helping build a stronger Global Network of Navies. Additionally, Sailors and civilian mariners will work together to enhance an orphanage, and also attend a reception hosted by the Gabon navy,” said Commander Matthew Flemming, Africa Partnership Station 2015 mission commander.
“The Spanish, British and U.S. Marines embarked on USNS Spearhead look forward to the Gabon phase of our theater security cooperation engagement in support of Africa Partnership Station. In country, we will work alongside Gabonese navy personnel and conduct [Visit, Board, Search and Seizure] training, infantry tactics development, weapons-handling training and conduct live-fire exercises,” said First Lieutenant Scott C. Mahaffey, U.S. Marine Corps.
“The Spearhead and her crew came to Gabon last year and had a memorable time. Spearhead now brings a new contingent of Marines, civilian mariners, and Sailors to continue to build lasting partnerships in Gabon, enhancing maritime cooperation in the region and raising maritime domain awareness in the Gulf of Guinea,” said Captain James Regan, USNS Spearhead ship’s master.

Africa Partnership Station is the mechanism by which international maritime forces share professional skills, knowledge and experience to enhance collective efforts to combat sea-borne illicit activity, according to U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.