WALVIS BAY, Namibia –
Lewis B. Puller-class expeditionary sea base USS Hershel "Woody" Williams (ESB 4) and Forward Deployed Regional Maintenance Center (FDRMC) ship repair experts hosted a ship check event attended by commercial maintenance providers during a recent port visit to Walvis Bay, Namibia, Sept. 5, 2022.
Ship checks provide opportunities to meet regional maintenance providers in person and allow representatives to visit the ship ahead of potentially bidding on a maintenance contract. During the first-ever ship check for Hershel "Woody" Williams in Namibia, FDRMC representatives led the attendees around the vessel to identify areas and equipment in need of maintenance ahead of an upcoming voyage repair availability.
Following the ship check event, Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella (NAVSUP FLCSI) contracting officers and FDRMC ship repair experts and U.S. Transportation Command's Military Sealift Command (MSC) hosted a virtual industry engagement. This event educated maintenance provider representatives about the U.S. Government contract solicitation process, contracting regulations and how to submit competitive solicitations to the government to perform any of the ship's needed maintenance.
"The U.S. Navy cannot operate effectively and execute its mission overseas without the labor and expertise of commercial ship repair vendors," said Capt. Paul Haslam, NAVSUP FLCSI chief of contracts. "Ship checks and virtual industry engagement events like those we conducted aboard HWW serve to strengthen relations with key partners like Namibia and, in general, help pave the way for future maintenance and logistics capability overseas. These events also broaden mutual understanding and improve cooperation between NAVSUP and our mission partners."
Having the maintenance provider tour the ship at the same time as the ship check exposed them to needed work aboard Hershel "Woody" Williams. Similarly, during the virtual industry engagement, they had the opportunity to learn about the U.S. Government contract solicitation process, contracting regulations and how to submit competitive solicitations to the government to perform any of the ship's needed maintenance.
"Building relationships with regional maintenance providers is critical to ensure U.S. Navy ships receive quality and on-time maintenance during future availabilities," said Marie Hahn, NAVSUP FLCSI Ship Repair Division director. "We haven't done work in Namibia yet; so it was expected that commercial vendors in attendance benefited from the virtual industry engagement."
Hershel "Woody" Williams is the first U.S. Navy vessel to be assigned to the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility whose presence is to promote maritime security through a persistent presence in African waters in close cooperation with African partners.
As one of the U.S. Navy's expeditionary sea bases, Hershel "Woody" Williams provides critical access infrastructure that facilitates the deployment of forces and supplies to support a multitude of missions ranging from humanitarian and medical relief to joint anti-piracy operations.
The U.S. and Namibia share a rich bilateral security relationship that dates back to Namibian Independence. Together, the two countries work to ensure security, safety, and freedom of navigation in the Atlantic. Both the U.S. and Namibia recognize that the future security of these waters is critical for Africa's prosperity and continued access to global markets.
MSC operates approximately 125 civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world, and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.
FDRMC provides emergent, intermediate and depot-level maintenance and modernization for transient and Forward Deployed Naval Forces in U.S. Fifth and Sixth Fleets through fleet technical assistance, voyage repair, contract management oversight, assessments, and diving and salvage.
NAVSUP FLCSI is one of eight FLCs under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, NAVSUP employs a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 25,000 military and civilian personnel. NAVSUP and the Navy Supply Corps conduct and enable supply chain, acquisition, operational logistics and Sailor & family care activities with our mission partners to generate readiness and sustain naval forces worldwide to prevent and decisively win wars. NAVSUP FLCSI operates across 14 enduring and forward operating sites; forward contingency and cooperative security locations in 13 countries in Europe and Africa.