The crew piloting the Lewis B. Puller-class expeditionary sea base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams spent the Christmas season in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, after arriving in the Tanzanian port for a scheduled visit on Dec. 22, 2022.
“Being deployed during the Christmas holiday season can certainly be tough for sailors, so this Tanzania port visit will be great for Woody’s Warriors to relax and recharge,” said Capt. Lenard Mitchell, commanding officer, USS Hershel “Woody” Williams Gold crew. “We appreciate the opportunity to experience the rich culture Tanzania has to offer while we continue to strengthen our partnership.”
The visit marks the second time Hershel “Woody” Williams has made a stop in Tanzania in 2022. The ship’s last visit in August was with the Blue crew and was the first visit by a U.S. ship to Tanzania in more than a decade.
“The ship’s last stop in Dar es Salaam is a time I won’t soon forget,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jonah Brandes. “The local community was extremely inviting and the terrain is beautiful. I feel fortunate to be able to spend the holidays in such a welcoming environment.”
The U.S. and Tanzania have forged a partnership spanning more than 60 years with a foundation based on security, safety, and freedom of navigation, as these waters are critical for Africa’s security and prosperity. Port visits like this demonstrate the U.S.’ steadfast commitment to African partners in their pursuit of safety and security cooperation.
NAVAF’s ongoing maritime security cooperation with African partners focuses on maritime safety and security through increased maritime awareness, response capabilities, and infrastructure. It also includes various exercises and operations conducted by U.S., European, and African partners and allies throughout the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility.
Hershel "Woody" Williams is the first warship permanently assigned to the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility and is forward-deployed to the NAVAF area of operations, while employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet. ESBs are capable of conducting counter-piracy, maritime security, and humanitarian and disaster relief operations, as well as supporting a variety of rotary wing aircraft. Acting as a mobile sea base, Hershel "Woody" Williams is a part of the critical access infrastructure that supports the deployment of forces and supplies to support global missions.