The Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel "Woody" Williams (ESB 4) arrived in Walvis Bay, Namibia, for a regularly scheduled port visit Sept. 15, 2021.
"The last time the U.S. Navy visited Walvis Bay as a port-of-call was in 2012," said Capt. Chad Graham, commanding officer, USS Hershel "Woody" Williams. "We are hoping to use this current visit as an opportunity to continue to foster our relationship with the Namibian Navy."
During the visit the ship's crew hosted Namibian government and military leaders, including the country's Minister of Defense, Hon. Frans Kapofi, and U.S. Embassy Namibia staff to tour the ship and understand her capabilities.
The U.S. and Namibian Navy last worked together during exercise Obangame Express in March 2021, 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.
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.