NEWS | Nov. 25, 2020

USS Hershel “Woody” Williams and Tunisian Navy Exercise Maritime Security Capabilities

By U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs

USS Hershel "Woody" Williams (ESB 4) and Tunisian Navy partners conducted joint maritime operations to enhance maritime security, critical lifesaving capabilities, force readiness, and Tunisia's ability to protect its maritime borders, November 23-24.

Hershel "Woody" Williams participated in a simulation of suspicious merchant activity that enabled partners at the Tunisian Regional Operation Centers to exercise their radar capabilities. The navy ship also participated in a naval exercise with the Tunisian Navy focused on developing both nations' ability to conduct maritime security operations in the Mediterranean, as well as conduct joint search and rescue operations.

"We greatly value this opportunity to exercise these critical capabilities with our Tunisian partners," said Donald Blome, U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia. "Working together with the Tunisian Navy offers both of our countries the opportunity to learn from one another, advancing our shared security goals in the southern Mediterranean."

U.S. forces worked with Tunisian partners on a search-and-rescue exercise, while U.S. Special Forces conducted simulations to bolster counterterrorism capabilities, perform critical lifesaving tasks, and improve cooperation between U.S. and Tunisian forces.

"Hershel 'Woody' Williams serves as a resource for AFRICOM and signals the U.S. Navy's commitment to security and stability throughout the region," said Vice Adm. Gene Black, commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet. "Operations alongside countries like Tunisia strengthen our collective ability to counter illicit activity in the region."

Demonstrating a shared commitment to enhance critical lifesaving capabilities in a COVID-19 degraded environment, all missions were conducted with respect for protocols protecting both U.S. and Tunisian forces against the spread of the virus.

Hershel "Woody" Williams is homeported in Souda Bay, Greece, and conducts U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) missions in the Mediterranean and the waters around East, South, and West Africa to include the southern Mediterranean, operating with regional partners. The ship supports security cooperation missions and operations in and around the African continent.

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts joint and naval operations in order to support regional allies and partners and U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.