American Warship to conduct joint naval exercises with Namibian Defence Force

15 September 2021 | Infrastructure

The USS Hershel “Woody” Williams’ (HWW) under command of Captain Chad Graham USN will be on a visit in the Port of Walvis Bay from 16 to 17 September.

According to the United States Embassy in Namibia, this visit will showcase the important partnership between the United States and Namibia, as well as a shared commitment to ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation in Namibian and south Atlantic waters.

The USS Hershel “Woody” Williams is the first U.S. Navy vessel permanently assigned to the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility.

During the three-day visit, the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams and the Namibian Defence Force will conduct three joint exercises.

These exercises will include the first-ever Namibian Air Force helicopter landing on a U.S. Navy vessel, a “Visit, Board Search and Seizure” exercise conducted by the Namibian Navy aboard the ship and a joint-U.S.-Namibian Navy “Passage Exercise.”

There will also be opportunities for senior military and government leadership to discuss future U.S.-Namibian engagement over the course of the visit.

USS Hershel "Woody" Williams (ESB-4) (formerly USNS Hershel "Woody" Williams (T-ESB-4)) is a Lewis B. Puller-class expeditionary mobile base, currently in service with the United States Navy.

The ship is also a sub-variant of the Montford Point-class expeditionary transfer dock (ESD).

The ESDs are operated by the Navy's Military Sealift Command with predominantly civilian crews, while the ESBs, owing to the nature of their operations, have been commissioned and commanded directly by the U.S. Navy.

The ship was named in honor of Hershel W. "Woody" Williams a Marine who was awarded the Medal of Honor in the Battle of Iwo Jima, during World War II.

The $498 million contract for the then-unnamed vessel was awarded to the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), a division of General Dynamics, in December 2014.

Her keel was laid on 2 August 2016, and she was scheduled to be completed in early 2018. The vessel was christened on 21 October 2017, at NASSCO in San Diego.

It was delivered to Military Sealift Command on 22 February 2018, and placed into service the same day.

Hershel “Woody” Williams is currently with the U.S. Sixth Fleet and she visited Cape Town, South Africa in February 2021.

Additional reporting - Wikipedia

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