Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) arrived in Walvis Bay, Namibia for a regularly scheduled port visit, September 15, 2021.
The visit will include engagement opportunities with Namibia’s government and military leaders. Namibia is an important partner of the United States in promoting peace and security in Africa.
“We are excited to visit Walvis Bay and work in concert with our Namibian partners on the kind of maritime security training that keeps this region and its domestic industries safe,” Capt. Chad Graham, commanding officer, USS Hershel “Woody” Williams, said.
Hershel “Woody” Williams will also participate in maritime security evolutions with the Namibian Navy including a passing exercise, and helicopter insertion and casualty evacuation drills.
“The last time the U.S. Navy visited Walvis Bay as a port-of-call was in 2012,” Graham said. “We are hoping to use this current visit as an opportunity to continue to foster our relationship with the Namibian Navy.”
The U.S. Navy routinely trains with partner nations to enhance maritime capabilities and interoperability by establishing communication and safety standards that strengthen regional maritime security. Additionally, Namibia participated in exercise Obangame Express in March 2021, which is the largest multinational maritime exercise in Western Africa. These types of exercises strengthen partnerships and allow countries to work more closely on shared transnational maritime challenges.
USS Hershel “Woody” Williams is the first warship permanently assigned to the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility. The U.S. shares a common interest with African partner nations in ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation on the waters surrounding the continent, because these waters are critical for Africa’s prosperity and access to global markets.
The ESB ship class is a highly flexible platform that may be used across a broad range of military operations. Acting as a mobile sea base, they are part of the critical access infrastructure that supports the deployment of forces and supplies to support missions assigned.
For over 70 years, U.S. Sixth Fleet forces have forged strategic relationships with our allies and partners and solidified a foundation of shared values, experiences, and vision aimed at preserving security and stability.
U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.