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NEWS | Oct. 29, 2020

USS Hershel “Woody” Williams Arrives in Naples, Italy

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

The Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) arrived in Naples, Italy, for a routine logistics stop, Oct. 29.

Hershel “Woody” Williams returned to the Mediterranean following a 43-day underway operating alongside partners and Allies off the coast of Africa, where the ship participated in six maritime evolutions, a major multinational exercise, and refueling operations.

“Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams is a long-term presence assigned to the U.S. Africa Command mission set, and we look forward to working alongside our African partners again in the near future,” said Capt. David L. Gray, commanding officer, Hershel “Woody” Williams, Blue Crew. “It has been an absolute honor to be a part of our increased U.S. presence in Africa working and training alongside our partners and Allies.”

While off the coast of Africa, the ship showcased its full spectrum of maritime capabilities during tracking, passing, and communication exercises with Morocco, Cabo Verde, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria before participating in the French-led Grand African Navy Exercise for Maritime Operations (NEMO) 2020, a week-long exercise involving more than 30 ships and aircraft from 14 different Allied and partner nations. All evolutions trained on important maritime issues such as combating illegal fishing, piracy, drug trafficking, pollution, and rescue at sea while maintaining COVID precautions.

Hershel “Woody” Williams, homeported in Souda Bay, Greece, conducts AFRICOM missions in the Mediterranean and the waters around East, South, and West Africa to include the Gulf of Guinea, operating with regional Allies and partners. The ship is assigned to the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) mission set and will support security cooperation missions and operations in and around the African continent.

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and 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.