The Navy’s joint high-speed vessel (JHSV) is proving to be a superb platform for working with partner nations for engagements such as
Africa Partnership Station (APS).
VADM James G. Foggo III, commander of the U.S.
Sixth Fleet, said partnerships are important, but teamwork takes practice.
“In order to prepare, you’ve got to exercise,” he said
Foggo said the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team is engaged in exercises across Europe and Africa, from the
Africa Partnership Station (APS) “Express” series of
engagements to NATO exercises like Proud Manta and
“We’ve got to speak each other’s language,” he said.
“And I don’t mean English, I’m talking electrons. We’ve
got to be able to communicate and share tactical infor-
APS is just that, a partnership, said RDML John B.
Nowell Jr., deputy chief of staff for Strategy, Resources
and Plans for U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa and U.S.
Sixth Fleet. For a relatively small investment, this syn-
chronized regional effort can build maritime capacity,
and achieve better awareness resulting in a safer and
more secure maritime environment.
The first APS event took place
in 2007 involving six African
nations. Today, there are 15 African
training teams and 29 African vessels and aircraft, as well as 12
European or Atlantic nations and
13 European ships involved.
“While the exercises drive
European and Atlantic partner involvement, the African nations
have been able to assert more independent and regionally collaborative operations,” Nowell said.
The Express series of exercises are
just part of the maritime capacity-building continuum that includes
bilateral and multilateral engagements and mobile training teams; regional deployments, joint African patrols and
unilateral operations; and African maritime law enforcement operations (AMLEP), a real-world operation involving a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment.
Participation in the Express exercises has doubled over
the past four years, and they now have a greater focus on
operations, with more realistic scenarios from detection
to interdiction to prosecution.
By increasing the African nations’ capability, capacity
and proficiency, it is hoped that they will therefore have
the resolve to act independently and together as a
region to improve their collective maritime security.
Key to the success of APS over the last couple years has
been the involvement of USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1). It is
one of five JHSVs that have been delivered to the Navy.
Five more are under construction or under contract.
The 2,400-ton JHSVs are 338 feet long with a beam of
95 feet. They are based on a commercial high-speed ferry
catamaran designed and built by Austal USA in Mobile,
Ala. JHSVs are powered by diesel engines and waterjets.
CAPT John Rinko is the commander of Task Force 63
and commander of Military Sealift Command-Europe
Platform for Partnership
Joint high-speed vessel is engaged in exercises
to help build African maritime security capabilities
By EDWARD LUNDQUIST, Special Correspondent
Amazing Cargo Hauler”
The joint high-speed vessel (JHSV) combines the virtues of speed,
volume and flexibility.
■ JHSV’s shallow draft and vehicle ramp can load and offload
cargo in austere port environments.
■ The ship’s 20,000-square-foot mission bay can be configured
for a wide range of missions using adaptive force packages.
■ Its capacity to embark forces to execute across several mission areas makes its a valuable asset for engagement with
SPECIAL REPORT / LITTORAL & BROWN-WATER OPS