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By 1st Lt. Rebekah Harasick, Communication Strategy and Operations Officer, USS Hershel Woody Williams
The Lewis B. Puller-class expeditionary sea base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) arrived in Tema, Ghana for a routine port visit, Oct. 2, 2023. While in port Tema, the ship will onload stores and conduct routine maintenance. This port visit is the ship’s second stop while deployed to the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility.
The U.S. and Ghana share a strong history of promoting maritime peace and stability in the Gulf of Guinea. Ghana participated in the 2023 iteration of exercise Obangame Express, the largest multinational, maritime exercise in Western and Central Africa. These types of exercises strengthen partnerships and allow countries to work closer on shared transnational maritime challenges. Additionally, in August 2022, Ghana hosted the joint-led U.S. and Danish Maritime Operations Planning Workshop (MOPW), giving junior officers from 14 African nations the opportunity to exchange operational planning experiences and plan real-world exercises.
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, which 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.