The U.S. Navy’s joint high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) delivered wheelchairs and medical supplies to Ghanaian non-governmental organizations March 26, 2015.
The materials were delivered under the U.S. Navy’s Project Handclasp program, which accepts humanitarian, educational and goodwill donations, contributed by the American private sector, and transports them to foreign nations on a space-available basis aboard U.S. Navy vessels.
“From the entire military detachment and civilian mariner crew aboard Spearhead, it is our pleasure to deliver these donations, knowing that they will be of benefit to the people of Ghana. Spearhead transported these supplies here, but credit goes to the American citizens who donated these materials for a good cause.”
– Cmdr. Matthew Flemming, Africa Partnership Station 2015 mission commander
“USNS Spearhead continues to be a versatile vessel, utilizing our 20,000 square-foot mission bay. The ship and her crew visited this area last year to donate Project Handclasp material, and we look forward to being able to continue to transport these much needed goods and supplies from the United States to this region of the world.”
– Captain James Regan, USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) Ship’s master
- Spearhead delivered 168 of these three-wheeled, hand-cranked wheelchairs, with 154 being adult sized and 14 being for children. The shipment weighed more than 15,600 pounds, with an estimated total worth of $42,000.
- The humanitarian items are from charities in the United States. Recipient Ghana non-governmental organizations will distribute the items as part of their programs and services to the Ghanaian populace.
- The delivery corresponded with Spearhead’s visit to Ghana during its participation in Exercise Obangame Express 2015, a U.S. Africa Command-sponsored multinational maritime exercise designed to increase maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.
- Spearhead has been operating off of West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea for the past several months as part of Africa Partnership Station, the international collaborative capacity-building program that seeks to enhance maritime security throughout Africa. The delivery of these materials signifies an additional benefit to the ship’s presence in the region.
- Spearhead has a 20,000 square-foot mission bay area, providing the space to carry mission-essential equipment and these humanitarian supplies.
- Spearhead departed from its homeport of Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia, Dec. 28, 2014. A portion of the humanitarian materials were onloaded there, and the remainder was loaded up at U.S. Naval Station Rota, Spain.
- U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests, and security and stability in Europe and Africa.