USS Hershel “Woody” Williams arrives in Djibouti, conducts maritime interoperability exercises


The US Navy’s Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB-4) conducted bilateral maritime flight operations with French SA-330 Pumas off the coast of Djibouti prior to arriving in Djibouti City for a scheduled port visit on 13 November.

The visit included engagement opportunities with Djiboutian military and government leaders as well as a Women, Peace, and Security reception with government and military leaders to discuss opportunities for women leaders through peacekeeping capability building activities and exercises.

“Djibouti is a crucial partner in fostering maritime security and free trade,” said Captain. Chad W Graham, commanding officer, USS Hershel “Woody” Williams. “The United States and Djiboutian Navies have a long history of working multilaterally with other nations in the region to combat illicit maritime activity. On this visit, we are excited to be working with Djibouti, and to conduct flight operations with the French.”

This marks the Hershel “Woody” Williams’ eleventh port visit during her circumnavigation deployment of Africa.

“Djibouti is a critical partner in maintaining peace and stability in the Western Indian Ocean region. Additionally, Djibouti participated in exercise Cutlass Express in August 2021, a multinational maritime exercise held in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. These types of exercises strengthen partnerships and allow countries to work more closely on shared transnational maritime challenges,” the US Navy said.

USS Hershel “Woody” Williams is the first warship permanently assigned to the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility.