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NEWS | March 13, 2024

USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) arrives in Tema, Ghana

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Public Affairs

The Blue military crew (MILCREW) of the Lewis B. Puller-class expeditionary sea base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) and the ship’s Military Sealift Command Civilian Mariners (CIVMARs) arrived in Tema, Ghana for a regularly scheduled port visit, March 13, 2024. This port visit strengthens U.S.-Ghanaian partnership as the two nations work together for a stable, secure, and prosperous Gulf of Guinea and West Africa region. It also allows the Sailors and Civilian Mariners of USS Hershel “Woody” Williams a chance to experience the unique culture, historic sights, and hospitality of a critical regional partner. “Our crew is excited to be here in Tema and we thank the Ghanaian people for their incredible hospitality and enduring partnership,” said Capt. Amy Lindahl, commanding officer of Hershel “Woody” Williams Blue MILCREW. “This is our first port visit on our current deployment to Africa, and Tema is the perfect place to kick off all of the upcoming bilateral and multilateral work we have planned with our regional partners.” The ship departed Naval Station Rota, Spain to start deployment, Feb. 28, 2024. Prior to the Rota port visit, the ship completed a Mid-Term Availability (MTA) at the Viktor Lenac shipyard in Rijeka, Croatia. This type of routine maintenance is crucial to keeping the ship on station and on mission in support of national security objectives. After departing Tema, Hershel “Woody” Williams will continue its deployment to the African continent, leveraging opportunities to work alongside regional Allies and partners in a variety of exercises and operations. A credible, capable naval presence increases maritime security, and highlights our shared commitment to fostering regional security and stability among partnered and allied nation naval militaries. The ship last completed a deployment to Africa in fall and winter 2023, with the Gold MILCREW on hull for the duration. During that deployment, the ship conducted a port visit to Tema, in October 2023. Hershel “Woody” Williams is forward deployed to Souda Bay, Greece and serves as the first U.S. Navy ship assigned to the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) area of responsibility. The ship is capable of conducting expeditionary missions, counter piracy, maritime security, and humanitarian and disaster relief operations. Hershel "Woody" Williams’ unique capabilities are part of the critical access infrastructure that supports the deployment of forces and supplies to support global missions. The ship operates with blue and gold crews, allowing it to remain continually deployed throughout AFRICOM. 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.