Army’s Swift Boat

Spearhead: US Army’s High Speed Troop Transport


The Army has a new high-speed transport:

The Spearhead is an all-Army endeavor, operated by the 469th Transportation Detachment, Fort Eustis, Va. TSV missions have included hauling two Patriot missile battalions from Qatar to the Kuwaiti naval base in a joint effort with the LSVs in theater.

The TSV also moved the 101st Airborne Division military police from Djibouti to Kuwait, making the 2,000-mile trip in two and a half days. A traditional LSV would have taken 10 days. The TSV also carried 500 tons of ammunition from Jordan’s Aqaba Port to Kuwait.

(Follow the link for more and bigger pics at Strategy Page.)

We need more of this sort of thing. We are constantly hamstrung by a lack of sufficient transport for our ground forces. And despite constant efforts to make our military all-airlift-all-the-time it just ain’t gonna’ happen. Sealift is what it takes to keep an Army in the field.

If that vessel is running supplies to deployed forces, it would deliver four loads in the time that a traditional vessel would take to deliver one. And deployed troops can never have enough stuff.

Many, many more pics and links here.


  1. I hope the Navy is embarrassed. They seem determine to forfeit their responsibility to provide transport to Army and Marine units. The Navy has also totally abandoned their ability to provide meaningful shore bombardment and fire support (other than air) for ground units. The 5-inch gun on cruisers and destroyers is an afterthought.

  2. Does it make ANY sense for the Army to develop its own Naval capability? What’s the Navy for, then? Isn’t it more expensive to develop/operate a military this way?

  3. Army and Navyhhave their own airplanes. Airforce and Navy (Marines) have their own small infantry forces. As long as it doesn’t go overboard (bad pun) e.g. Army Aircraft Carriers, there are niches to fulfill within service which is directly witin their chain of command yet perplicate some of what other services mostly do. This is so each service doesn’t become overly specialized and develop institutional weaknesses. Over do it though and money will be wasted. The Marines have long been carefully tied organically to their transports. This made them more ready to go than the Army was for Afghanistan…to the later’s embarrasment. Thus the Army needs to get it’s transportation system orgnaized more or less as the Marines do, even if it seems to infringe on another Services’ specialty.