Navy’s first Joint High-Speed Vessel arrives at Little Creek on Saturday

Posted at 5:26 PM, Feb 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-13 17:27:24-05

Norfolk, Va. – The Navy’s first Joint High-Speed Vessel, the USNS Spearhead, will arrive at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story on Saturday.

The brand-new ship will be based at Little Creek when not forward deployed.

Operated by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command, The Spearhead is designed for rapid, intra-theater transport of troops and military equipment. The Spearhead is a 338-foot-long aluminum catamaran designed for speed, flexibility and maneuverability.

The reconfigurable 20,000-square-foot mission bay area can be quickly adapted to support a number of different missions – anything from carrying containerized portable hospitals to support disaster relief to transporting tanks and troops.

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 are designed to operate in austere ports and waterways, providing added flexibility to U.S. warfighters worldwide.

Spearhead’s crew of 22 civil service mariners operates, navigates and maintains the ship. The Navy will eventually operate 10 Joint High Speed Vessels in support of regional combatant commanders around the world. The remaining nine ships are contracted for construction in Mobile, Ala., by Austal U.S.A.