USS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams completes Gulf of Guinea maritime security patrol


The US Navy’s Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams (ESB 4) has arrived at Naval Station Rota, Spain, following a successful maritime security patrol in the Gulf of Guinea.

From March to April, Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams completed maritime security operations with African partners from Sierra Leone, Cabo Verde and Senegal as well as members of the US Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps, the US Navy said.

“The men and women that made this possible are a testament to our shared values and commitment to ensuring the safety, security, and freedom of navigation on the waters surrounding the African continent,” said Captain Michael Concannon, commanding officer, USS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams.

In March, the joint US and African maritime team interdicted an illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing vessel operating in Sierra Leone’s economic exclusive zone.

In April, as part of the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP), the joint team, led by Cabo Verde, worked in coordination with the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre – Narcotics (MAOC-N), the International Police (INTERPOL), and Cabo Verde’s national Maritime Operations Centre (COSMAR) to conduct a compliant boarding of a Brazilian-flagged fishing vessel, which led to the seizure of approximately 6 000 kilograms of suspected cocaine with an estimated street value of more than $350 million.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the professionalism and integration of the US tri-maritime services, partner nations and other supporting organizations during our maritime security operations,” said Concannon. “These maritime security events show the world that our African partners are poised and ready to strike against illicit activity.”

The Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams arrived in Spain on 18 April.