NEWS | July 30, 2021

USS Hershel “Woody” Williams visits Liberia

By USS Hershel “Woody” Williams Public Affairs

The Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) arrived in Monrovia, Liberia for a scheduled port visit, July 28.

 “I’d like to thank our Liberian partners for hosting this visit,” said Capt. Chad Graham, commanding officer, blue crew. “This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen an already durable relationship.”

Liberia is an important partner of the United States in promoting peace and security in Africa. The U.S. works closely with Liberia on maritime security and maritime domain awareness. Additionally, Liberia participated in exercise Obangame Express in March 2021, a multinational maritime exercise sponsored by U.S. Africa Command. These exercises strengthen partnerships and allow countries to work more closely on shared transnational maritime challenges. 

USS Hershel “Woody” Williams is the first warship permanently assigned to the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility. The U.S. shares a common interest with African partner nations in ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation on the waters surrounding the continent, because these waters are critical for Africa’s prosperity and access to global markets.

“The United States and Liberia have a shared history, and a shared desire to keep this region and its waters safe,” said Graham. “Working with our partners on their home turf allows us to build a better understanding of how best to cooperate in the future.”

For over 70 years, U.S. Sixth Fleet forces have forged strategic relationships with our allies and partners and solidified a foundation of shared values, experiences, and vision aimed at preserving security and stability.

The ESB ship class is a highly flexible platform that may be used across a broad range of military operations. Acting as a mobile sea base, they are part of the critical access infrastructure that supports the deployment of forces and supplies to support missions assigned.

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.