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NEWS | July 9, 2021

Spanish Minister of Defense Visits USS Hershel “Woody” Williams

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa / U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs

Spanish Minister of Defense Margarita Robles received a ship tour aboard the Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4), July 8, 2021.

While aboard, Robles met with The Honorable Conrad Tribble, Charge d’Affaires at U.S. Embassy Madrid and other dignitaries from the Spanish and U.S. military, including Rear Adm. Ben Reynolds, Director of Maritime Headquarters, U.S. Naval Forces Sixth Fleet, and Brig. Gen. Marcus Annibale, Chief of Staff to Naval Striking and Support Forces, NATO (STRIKFORNATO).

This visit demonstrates the vital security cooperation and partnership between the United States and Spain.

“This visit also exemplifies the 70 years of Spanish hospitality in hosting U.S. forces in Rota and Moron. Being home-ported at Naval Station Rota offers many opportunities to build upon the already significant interoperability and close history between our top-tier navies,” Tribble said.

The visit also served as an opportunity to demonstrate the type of capabilities that the Hershel “Woody” Williams can provide while deployed to the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of responsibility.

“We recognize the work Spain has dedicated to defending NATO's Southern Flank, and the Spanish personnel deployed in support of peace and security through NATO, UN, EU, and national missions.  We also salute the Spanish military's humanitarian assistance in response to COVID-19,” Tribble said.

Members of both the Spanish and U.S. Navies presented a static demonstration of their helicopters aboard the flight deck of the ship for Robles and members of the media.

"This visit is the manifestation of the work done together around the world by two allied nations who share a magnificent relationship," Robles said. "The world should know that the commitment of Spain and the United States to peace, shared values, and democracy is absolute."

The Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4), homeported in Souda Bay, Greece, is the first permanently assigned ship to the U.S. Africa Command area of operations. Hershel “Woody” Williams operates with a combined crew of U.S. Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners.

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.