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 to be forward-deployed 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 at 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.
December 12, USS Hershel "Woody" Williams recently arrived off the coast of Somalia in support of Operation Octave Quartz, to relocate the U.S. DOD forces to other East Africa operating locations; Conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198) on Dec. 26.
January 20, 2021 The Hershel "Woody" Williams moored at Port of Djibouti, Djibouti, for a week-long port call; Conducted deck landing qualifications with the MV-22B Ospreys, assigned to the North and West Africa Response Force Aviation Combat Element, while underway off the Horn of Africa on Jan. 30; Moored at Tanker Berth 11 in Port of Djibouti from Feb. 1-2.
February 1, Capt. Michael E. Concannon (Gold Crew) assumed command of the ESB 4 during a crew exchange ceremony on board the ship in Djibouti, Djibouti.
February 8, USS Hershel "Woody" Williams moored at Berth 21, Kipevu Container Terminal in Port of Mombasa, Kenya, for a two-day visit, the first by U.S. Navy ship after a nearly 13 years; Moored at Berth 1, Eastern Mole in Port of Cape Town, South Africa, from Feb. 20-28; Transited northbound, approximately 30 n.m. west of Dakar, Senegal, on March 13; Transited east of Fuerteventura Island on March 16.
March 18, The Hershel "Woody" Williams moored at Pier 3 on Naval Station Rota, Spain, for a three-day port call; Transited the Strait of Gibraltar eastbound on March 21; Transited the Strait of Sicily on March 24; Conducted operations in the Ionian Sea, approximately 40 n.m. southwest of Corfu Island, on March 26; Transited the Strait of Otranto northbound, just after midnight, on March 27.
March 28, USS Hershel "Woody" Williams moored at Viktor Lenac shipyard in Rijeka, Croatia, for a two-month maintenance availability.