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NEWS | Dec. 26, 2022

USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) spends Christmas in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Conner D. Blake

The Lewis B. Puller-class expeditionary sea base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) spent the Christmas season in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania after arriving in the Tanzanian port for a scheduled visit, Dec. 22, 2022.

This visit marks the second time Hershel “Woody” Williams has made a stop in Tanzania in 2022. The ship’s last visit in August was with the Blue crew and was the first visit by a U.S. ship to Tanzania in more than a decade.

“The ship’s last stop in Dar es Salaam is a time I won’t soon forget,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jonah Brandes. “The local community was extremely inviting and the terrain is beautiful. I feel fortunate to be able to spend the holidays in such a welcoming environment.”

The United States and Tanzania have forged a partnership spanning more than 60 years with a foundation based on security, safety, and freedom of navigation, as these waters are critical for Africa’s security and prosperity. Port visits like this demonstrate the United States’ steadfast commitment to African partners in their pursuit of safety and security cooperation.

“Being deployed during the Christmas holiday season can certainly be tough for Sailors, so this Tanzania port visit will be great for Woody’s Warriors to relax and recharge,” said Capt. Lenard Mitchell, commanding officer, USS Hershel “Woody” Williams Gold crew. “We appreciate the opportunity to experience the rich culture Tanzania has to offer while we continue to strengthen our partnership.”

NAVAF’s ongoing maritime security cooperation with African partners focuses on maritime safety and security through increased maritime awareness, response capabilities, and infrastructure. It also includes various exercises and operations conducted by U.S., European, and African partners and allies throughout the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) area of responsibility.

Hershel "Woody" Williams is the first warship permanently assigned to the AFRICOM area of responsibility and is forward-deployed to the NAVAF area of operations, while employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet. ESBs are capable of conducting counter-piracy, maritime security, and humanitarian and disaster relief operations, as well as supporting a variety of rotary wing aircraft. Acting as a mobile sea base, Hershel "Woody" Williams is a part of the critical access infrastructure that supports the deployment of forces and supplies to support global missions.

Task Force 63 is headquartered at Naples, Italy. Composed of oilers, provision ships, and repair ships, its mission is the delivery of supplies at sea, and effecting repairs to other ships and equipment of the Fleet. Commander, Task Force 63 (CTF-63) is the operational commander of all the U.S. 6th Fleet air and sea logistics.

For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with our 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.