SOUTHCOM Mothership?

HOS Mystique, 250 foot Multi-Purpose Support Vessel being chartered by the Navy for SOUTHCOM

Marine Link is reporting that the Navy has awarded a $7.4M charter to Hornbeck Offshore with the work expected to be completed 14 June 2019.

“The DOD says the multi-mission support vessel will be chartered to provide proof of concept for a single vessel to meet various training, exercise, experimentation, and operational mission support requirements.”

I am going to speculate that the intent is to support the operation of Cyclone class patrol craft in the Eastern Pacific transit zone. Perhaps Webber class WPCs as well?

Cyclone-class patrol coastal USS Zephyr (PC 8) crew conducts ship-to-ship firefighting to extinguish a fire aboard a low-profile go-fast vessel suspected of smuggling in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean April 7, 2018. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Mark Barney

Icebreakers and Motherships at SNA 2017

Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian interviews General Dynamics NASSCO’s Tom Wetherald regarding its US Coast Guard icebreaker and US Navy ship programs with during the 29th Surface Navy Association Symposium in Arlington, Virginia.

Interestingly NASSCO, like Eastern, teamed with VARD to develop their icebreaker concept.

Notably I see not weapons or positions for weapons on the icebreaker concept.

It may be good news for us that more Expeditionary Sea Bases (formerly “Afloat Forward Staging Bases”). It is likely one will go to to SOUTHCOM and may be available to support counter drug operations.