By U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa / U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs
The Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB-4) arrived in Maputo, Mozambique for a scheduled port visit, Oct. 15, 2021.
The visit will include engagement opportunities with Mozambican military and government leaders, including a ship tour and capabilities demonstrations. Additionally, the visit will include engagement opportunities for the crew to interact with the local community.
"My crew is very excited for the opportunity to visit Mozambique, experience their culture, and make a positive impact in Maputo during our time here," said Capt. Chad Graham, commanding officer, USS Hershel "Woody" Williams. "Partnership with Mozambique is a point of pride for the Navy, as cooperation enhances our commitment to safety and maritime security in the Western Indian Ocean."
This marks the first port visit by a U.S. ship in nearly a decade and shows the strengthening security cooperation relationship between the United States and Mozambique.
“Our ability to conduct this level of military cooperation is a testament to the strength of the strategic partnership between our countries,” said Dennis W. Hearne, U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique. “We share a common interest in ensuring the security, safety, and freedom of navigation in southern Africa, which is critical for Mozambique’s prosperity.”
Mozambique is a critical partner in maintaining peace and stability in the Western Indian Ocean. Additionally, Mozambique participated in exercise Cutlass Express in August 2021, a multinational maritime exercise held in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. These types of 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 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.
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.
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.