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By MC1 Terrence Siren
The Lewis B. Puller-class expeditionary sea base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) arrived in Luanda, Angola for a regularly scheduled port visit, Nov. 2, 2022.
During the port visit, Hershel “Woody” Williams will host a reception to continue building relationships with senior Angolan government and military leaders while the crew participates in community service acts alongside Angolan Navy sailors.
“After an extended period of time at sea where we worked side-by-side with our Angolan partners in maritime exercise Grand African NEMO, we are pleased to have the opportunity to build on that partnership with a port visit to Luanda,” said Capt. Michael E. Concannon, commanding officer, USS Hershel “Woody” Williams. “My crew looks forward to the chance to go ashore and learn about Angolan culture while enjoying the food, sights and sounds of Luanda.”
Hershel “Woody” Williams last visited Luanda in September 2021. Angola is an important partner of the United States in promoting peace and security in Africa. The U.S. works closely with Angola on maritime security and maritime domain awareness. Additionally, Angola participated in exercise Obangame Express in March 2022, 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.
Hershel “Woody” Williams is the first warship permanently assigned to the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility. The ESB ship class is a highly flexible platform 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.
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.
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.