The Namibian Ports Authority today, 16 September 2021, welcomed the USS Hershel W. Williams, a United States (US) navy vessel, currently on her maiden call to Namibia.
Here on a three-day diplomatic call under the USA flagship, the USS Hershel "Woody" Williams, together with the Namibian Defence Force, will conduct three joint exercises. These exercises will include the first ever-Namibian Air Force helicopter landing on-board a U.S Navy vessel; a “Visit, Board Search and Seizure” exercise conducted by the Namibian Navy on-board the ship, as well as a joint US - Namibian Navy Passage Exercise. The helicopter will remain present during a tour led by the top brass of the Namibian military.
Over the course of the visit, there will be opportunities for senior military and government leadership to discuss future U.S - Namibian engagements. The visit will further provide a platform for both parties to discuss imminent partnerships as well a shared commitment to security, safety and freedom of navigation in Namibian and south Atlantic waters.
Speaking to Lieutenant Colonel William Lange, Defence Attaché, US Embassy in Namibia; "the United States Embassy is grateful for the tremendous support we have received from the President of Namibia, Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs, Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation and the Namibian Ports Authority. Without this crucial support, we would not have been able to bring the USS Hershel "Woody" Williams to Walvis Bay today. We have been immensely overwhelmed with the professionalism of the NAMPORT staff and the hard work they have put into making this visit a success.
The visit of the USS Hershel "Woody" Williams symbolizes the United States' commitment to collaborate with Namibia to combat illicit activities on the high seas and promote the sovereignty of Namibian territorial waters. By working together to promote security in the waters off Namibia's coast, we enhance economic prosperity and ensure Namibia's unfettered access to global markets, and we are looking forward to coming back to Namibia in the very near future”.
The vessel sailed to Namibia from Luanda, Angola with 48 civilians and 152 military crewmembers, which is 100 shy of her 300-passenger capacity. She will depart for Cape Town on 18 September 2021.