US Navy to Christen Joint High Speed Vessel Spearhead

The Navy will chris­ten the joint high speed ves­sel (JHSV) Spear­head Sept. 17, at 10 a.m. CDTin Mobile, Ala.

Sen. Jeff Ses­sions of Alaba­maw­ill deliv­er the com­mis­sion­ing ceremony’s prin­ci­pal address. Retired Army Chief War­rant Offi­cer Ken­neth Wahlman, will serve as the ship’s spon­sor. His daugh­ter Cather­ine, a staff sergeant in the Army Reserve Offi­cer Train­ing Corps at Vir­ginia Tech Uni­ver­si­ty, will assist her father in the chris­ten­ing.

The 338 foot-long alu­minum cata­ma­ran is being con­struct­ed by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. Spear­head and the nine oth­er JHSVs under con­tract allow intra-the­ater trans­porta­tion of troops, mil­i­tary vehi­cles, sup­plies and equip­ment. They are capa­ble of trans­port­ing 600 short tons 1,200 nau­ti­cal miles at an aver­age speed of 35 knots and can oper­ate in shal­low-draft ports and water­ways, pro­vid­ing U.S. forces added mobil­i­ty and flex­i­bil­i­ty. Joint high speed ves­sels’ avi­a­tion flight decks can sup­port day and night air vehi­cle launch and recov­ery oper­a­tions. This plat­form can berth up to 146 per­son­nel and pro­vides air­line-style seat­ing for up to 312.

Mil­i­tary com­man­ders will have the flex­i­bil­i­ty to use the JHSV in a vari­ety of roles, includ­ing sup­port­ing over­seas con­tin­gency oper­a­tions, human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance and dis­as­ter relief efforts and spe­cial oper­a­tions forces and main­tain­ing emerg­ing joint sea-bas­ing con­cepts.

Upon deliv­ery to the U.S. Navy’s Mil­i­tary Sealift Com­mand (MSC), Spear­head will be des­ig­nat­ed as a Unit­ed States naval ship. It will have a core crew of 21 civil­ian mariners who will oper­ate and nav­i­gate the ship. The first four JHSVs includ­ing Spear­head will be crewed by fed­er­al­ly employed civ­il ser­vice mariners, and the remain­ing six will be crewed by civil­ian con­tract mariners work­ing for pri­vate ship­ping com­pa­nies under con­tract to MSC. Mil­i­tary mis­sion per­son­nel will embark as required by the mis­sion spon­sors.

Inter­est­ed media may con­tact the Navy Office of Infor­ma­tion­at 703–697-5342. Infor­ma­tion on JHSV is avail­able online at .

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)