USS Hershel Williams becomes first US Navy ship to visit Mombasa in a decade


The US Navy’s Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams arrived in Mombasa, Kenya, for a port visit on 8 February in support of its 2021 African coast deployment, becoming the first US naval ship to enter the port of Mombasa in over a decade.

“Kenya is a close US strategic partner in Africa,” said Captain Michael Concannon, commanding officer, USS Hershel “Woody” Williams. “Our visit to Mombasa confirms our resolve and commitment to the preservation of security and stability in Kenya and Africa.”

The port visit facilitates engagement opportunities between Kenyan officials and military leadership. Participants will tour the ship and learn about the many capabilities that Hershel “Woody” Williams brings to the maritime security in the region. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, tours will be limited to open space areas of the ship only, the US Navy said.

“The visit of the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams is a mark of the deep and enduring relationship between the United States and Kenya,” said Eric Kneedler, Chargé d’Affaires, at the US Embassy in Nairobi. “We are grateful for our close military cooperation.”

“Williams is currently deployed to the eastern coast of Africa to demonstrate their growth in strategic partnerships and US commitment to African countries through interoperability training, maritime security and safety to allow for freedom of navigation in the region. The ship’s rotational crew swap allows unlimited operations in the Africa area of responsibility,” the US Navy said.

Homeported in Souda Bay, Greece, the ship conducts US Africa Command missions in the Mediterranean and the waters around East, South, and West Africa to include the southern Mediterranean, operating with regional partners. The ship supports security cooperation missions and operations in and around the African continent.