“Awesome” is the word used by CW3 Patrick S. May
, Commander of USAV
Spearhead when describing the US Army’s Theater Support Vessel sustaining 48.7
knots running down the coast of Qatar during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In September 2002, when Incat sold a second ship for service with the US Army,
expectations were high. As the Army’s first Theater Support vessel, TSV-1X USAV
Spearhead would be utilized on missions to maximize its speed and flexibility, being
required for both sustainment deliveries and the movement of Army prepositioned stocks,
and troop units.
Laid down at Incat’s Hobart, Tasmania shipyard as a commercial passenger and vehicle
ferry the ship was modified to meet US Army requirements and was promptly delivered to
Bollinger / Incat USA for handover to the military in an impressive 53 days after contract
Leaving Hobart soon after handover TSV-1X Spearhead headed directly to the Persian
Gulf to be part of the major military build-up in the region. En route, her crew began
training, conducted extensive sea trials and outfitted Spearhead for logistics operations
Both Spearhead and the earlier Incat-built 96 metre craft HSV-X1 Joint Venture are
currently deployed within the Central Command Area of Responsibility in support of
Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
CW3 Patrick S. May, Commander USAV Spearhead comments “The reception of the TSV
is amazing, and all eyes are on the Spearhead in every port. We've given hundreds of
tours to everyone from the casual observer to Generals.”
“We have sailed a total of 29,305 nautical miles and our operations to date have covered
most of the western part of the CENTCOM Theater from Jordan to Kuwait. We have
carried 751 troops and hauled over 1320 pieces of military cargo, just about everything in
the inventory except for tracks, all of which were already on the battlefield when we
Speaking of his role as Commander of such a high profile craft as Spearhead CW3 May
says, “I can tell you that Incat has hit a home run with this ship! What an awesome piece
of equipment. We have had minimal problems during a higher than designed or intended
“The vessel is near perfect for the intended US Army mission, and in 18 plus years of
driving and working about boats, I've never had so much fun.”
“We hit and sustained 48.7 knots running down the coast of Qatar a few weeks ago,
unbelievable” he says.
While HSV-X1 Joint Venture is shared by components of the Joint Forces Command,
TSV-1X Spearhead is a pure Army craft
. The Army has used performance and
engineering data gathered through their involvement with Joint Venture and used this to
fine-tune the requirements for Spearhead.
In the meantime, Incat is currently constructing another 98 metre craft, HSV 2 Swift, for
the US Navy and on target for a mid 2003 delivery.