CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti -- The United States Navy's High Speed Vessel, HSV-X1 Joint Venture, recently arrived at the Port of Djibouti with personnel from Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa who have been participating in training exercises in Kenya.
The introduction of the high-tech Joint Venture and CJTF-HOA personnel in early June closely follows a wide range of Kenyan initiatives to guard against terrorist threats.
A leader in the war on terrorism in the region, Kenya has taken decisive action to address anti-terrorism issues associated with air and port security. Now in partnership with CJTF-HOA, combined forces are focusing on countering coastal and maritime terrorist activity, according to a Joint Special Operations Task Force spokesperson.
The counter-terrorism training, conducted in Kenya's coastal water and the international waters within CJTF-HOA's area of responsibility, supports the CJTF-HOA's mission to detect, disrupt and defeat transnational terrorist groups in the region. This area is defined as the total airspace, land areas and coastal waters of Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Yemen.
The 313-foot Joint Venture is a high-speed, aluminum catamaran-hulled, ocean-going vessel. It is rapidly re-configurable and can ferry up to 325 combat personnel and 400 tons of cargo nearly 3,000 miles one way at speeds in excess of 40 knots, said Navy Capt. Phil Beierl, officer in charge, HSV-X1.
Other capabilities of the vessel include ship-to-shore logistics in coastal or littoral waters, command, control and support for helicopter and amphibious operations including force insertion, recovery and redeployment.
"The HSV-X1 provides a moving command post and logistics base, supporting troops in distant regions - and that's exactly what it did for the exercise in Kenya," said Beierl. It is highly maneuverable, and capable of making a sharp 90-degree turn at full speed and stopping in three ship lengths.
The Joint Venture provides CJTF-HOA and coalition partners with high-speed, ocean-going reach, he added. It has the capability for at-sea forward staging base operations in support of maritime forces and smaller craft. This capability area is a key asset in the Horn of Africa and its surrounding regional coastlines.
"It is bar none the most maneuverable ship in the Navy," remarked Beierl. "The HSV operates as a countermeasure command ship, and shows a strong capability for acting as a mother ship for the wide variety of future systems that are in the works now."
The HSV-X1 Joint Venture provides for a valuable training asset in the Horn of Africa, helping CJTF personnel defend against terrorist networks in the region.