The Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) arrived in Maputo, Mozambique for a scheduled port visit on October 15, 2021.
This marks the first port visit by a U.S. Navy ship since 2011 and shows the strengthening partnership between the United States of America and the Republic of Mozambique.
During the three-day visit, Navy sailors will engage with officials from the Mozambican military and government, and conduct a Navy-to-Navy exchange.
“Our ability to conduct this level of military cooperation is a testament to the strength of the strategic partnership between our countries,” said Dennis W. Hearne, U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique. “We share a common interest in ensuring the security, safety, and freedom of navigation in southern Africa, which is critical for Mozambique’s prosperity.”
“My crew is very excited for the opportunity to visit Mozambique, experience their culture, and make a positive impact in Maputo during our time here,” said Capt. Chad Graham, commanding officer, USS Hershel “Woody” Williams. “Partnership with Mozambique is a point of pride for the Navy, as cooperation enhances our commitment to safety and maritime security in the Western Indian Ocean.”
According to the statement issued by U.S. Embassy in Mozambique; USS Hershel “Woody” Williams is the first warship permanently assigned to the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility.
“For over 70 years, U.S. Sixth Fleet forces have forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, and solidified a foundation of shared values, experiences, and vision aimed at preserving security and stability.”
U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests, security, and stability in Europe and Africa.
South African Shores
Last month, a U.S. military vessel was spotted in Cape Town – something which left many South African citizens confused and wondering what business was being conducted by the United States officials.
In a report by IOL News the reason for the scheduled port visit was to promote security ties, engagement opportunities with South African government and military leaders, to include cultural presentations, ship tours, as well as religious and medical exchanges.
Acting US Consul-General to South Africa, William Stevens said the vessel’s visit was yet another indication of the deep and broad partnership between the US and South Africa.
“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 these waters are critical for Africa’s prosperity and access to global markets,” he said.