Officers assigned to the Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) participated in a maritime interoperability planning event with leaders from the Nigerian Navy on Saturday. A statement from the US Consulate said Hershel “Woody” Williams is scheduled to participate in a three-day at sea training with Nigerian offshore patrol vessels and members of Ghana’s Special Boat Squadron.
USS Hershel “Woody” Williams is the first warship permanently assigned to the US Africa Command area of responsibility. The US shares a common interest with African partner nations in ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation on the waters surrounding the continent, because the waters are critical for Africa’s prosperity and access to global markets.
Over the last decade, Gulf of Guinea nations have steadily increased their capability of working together and sharing information. Capt. Chad Graham, Hershel “Woody” Williams’ commanding officer, also met with the chief of operations for the Nigerian Navy Western Naval Command, Commodore Daupreye Matthew to discuss their shared commitment to a peaceful, well-policed Gulf of Guinea.
Graham said, “Maritime engagements that include many navies working together really improve our interoperability and collective capability, which are absolutely necessary for a busy area such as the Gulf of Guinea.