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MAYPORT, Fla. -- The USNS Spearhead is leaving Thursday for Central and South America. The mission focuses on community and safety, including a role in getting drugs out of the wrong hands.

The ship will travel to Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Columbia. While underway, they'll work with military in those countries to help with supplies and medical facilities. They'll also help with Operation Martillo. It's an operation designed to keep drugs from getting into countries around the world - including the United States.

"It's very critical, it's critical to our partner nations, it's critical to us," said Captain Sam Hancock. He's in charge of the mission.

He says the work doesn't stop at sea. Crews on board, which is made up of Sailors, Marines, and Soldiers will also work with teams on land.

"The forces ashore are working with those other countries, and working to stop the drug trafficking," said Captain Hancock.

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