USS HERSHEL "WOODY" WILLIAMS ESB 4
The Hershel "Woody" Williams is the second Montford Point-class expeditionary sea base and the first ship in the U.S. Navy named in honor of Marine Corps Reserve Chief Warrant Officer 4 Hershel W. Williams who earned the Medal of Honor for his actions on February 23, 1945, during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II, while assigned to the 21st Marines, 3rd Marine Division.
March 1, 2020 USNS Hershel "Woody" Williams (T-ESB 4) moored at Nauticus Pier in downtown Norfolk, Va.
March 7, USNS Hershel "Woody" Williams was redesignated into a commissioned warship USS Hershel "Woody" Williams (ESB 4) during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony aboard the ship in Norfolk, Virginia. Capt. David L. Gray is the first commanding officer and will lead a hybrid crew of U.S. Navy Sailors and civilian mariners.
March 9, The Hershel "Woody" Williams moored at Berth 1, Pier 6 on Naval Station Norfolk; Underway in the Virginia Capes Op. Area from March 16-23, March 27- April 6, April 9-14 and June 22-27.
July 27, USS Hershel "Woody" Williams (Blue) departed Norfolk for its maiden deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AoR).
August 8, The Hershel "Woody" Williams transited the Strait of Gibraltar eastbound; Arrived off the coast of Naples, Italy, on Aug. 11; Moored at Berth 10, Cruise Terminal in Port of Naples from Aug. 13-15; Transited the Strait of Messina southbound on Aug. 16; Moored at Berth K10, East Refueling Wharf in Souda Bay, Crete, from Aug. 18-20; Participated in a photo exercise (PHOTOEX) with the USNS Trenton (EPF 5) on Aug. 20.
From August 20-31, the Hershel "Woody" Williams conducted operations approximately 30-50 n.m. north of Souda Bay; Moored at Berth K10 again from Sept. 1-3; Transited the Strait of Sicily westbound on Sept. 5; Transited the Strait of Gibraltar on Sept. 8; Moored at Pier 3 on Naval Station Rota, Spain, to refuel from Sept. 9-11.
From September 11-14, the Hershel "Woody" Williams conducted operations in the Gulf of Cadiz; Participated in a PHOTOEX with the RMNS Mohammed V (FFGHM 611), while underway off the northwest coast of Morocco, on Sept. 15; Participated in a passing exercise (PASSEX) with the Senegalese Navy patrol vessel Kedougou (OPV 45) on Sept. 21.
September 26, The Hershel "Woody" Williams participated in a tracking exercise with the ITS Federico Martinengo (F596) and two Ivorian Navy patrol vessels, while underway off the coast of Abidjan; Participated in a tracking exercise with the GNS Ehwor (P37), while underway off the coast of Ghana, on Sept. 28; Participated in a joint naval drills with the NNS Okpabana (F93) and three Nigerian patrol vessels from Sept. 30- Oct. 2.
October 8, USS Hershel "Woody" Williams participated in a PHOTOEX in the Gulf of Guinea, as part of the multinational exercise Grand African NEMO; Anchored approximately 4 n.m. off the coast of Tema, Ghana, for fuel and supplies from Oct. 11-13; Transited northbound, east of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, on Oct. 19; Arrived off the coast of Rota, Spain, on Oct. 21.
October 22, ESB 4 moored at Pier 3 on Naval Station Rota for a four-day port call; Transited the Strait of Gibraltar eastbound on late Monday evening; Moored at Berth 10, Cruise Terminal in Port of Naples from Oct. 29-30; Transited the Strait of Messina southbound on Oct. 31; Moored at Wharf 6 in Port of Astakos, Greece, for upkeep from Nov. 1-9.
From November 9-11, the Hershel "Woody" Williams conducted operations approximately 20-50 n.m. southwest of Kefalonia Island; Conducted operations approximately 50 n.m. north of Souda Bay from Nov. 13-15.
November 16, USS Hershel "Woody" Williams (Blue) moored at Berth K14 in its new homeport of Souda Bay, Greece, for a two-day port call; Transited westbound, off the south coast of Sicily, on Nov. 20; Brief stop off the coast of Bizerte, Tunisia, on Nov. 23; Transited the Strait of Sicily eastbound, just after midnight, on Nov. 24.
November 26, The Hershel "Woody" Williams moored Berth K14 in Souda Bay for a two-day port call to refuel and celebrate the Thanksgiving Day; Transited the Suez Canal southbound on Nov. 30.