The 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 capital for a scheduled port visit, Nov. 13, 2021, according to the U.S. Navy.
The visit will include 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 Capt. 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 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 the 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.
USS Hershel “Woody” Williams is the first warship permanently assigned to the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility. The U.S. 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.
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