A marine vessel permanently assigned to Africa by the United States, the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams, arrived in Lagos on Saturday for a three-day training exercise with Nigeria and Ghana.
Hershel “Woody” Williams returned to the Gulf of Guinea after the 32-nation Obangame Express 2021 exercises that were held in March. The 784 feet long vessel can handle large-scale tasks which include moving vehicles and equipment from sea to shore.
According to a press statement by the U.S. consulate, the vessel is to join a three-day sea training exercise with Nigerian patrol ships and members of Ghana’s Special Boat Squadron (SBS).
Chad Graham, the vessels’ commanding officer, met with the chief of operations for the Nigerian Navy Western Naval Command (WNC), Daupreye Franklin Matthew, to discuss their shared commitment to a peaceful, well-policed Gulf of Guinea.
“We’re happy to be working with our Nigerian partners to plan our at-sea multinational engagements, and we’re looking forward to a successful event that demonstrates our commitment to maritime security in the region,” Mr Graham said.
Sailors assigned to the vessel will paint the Lagos State Model Nursery and Primary School Achakpo Ajegunle and participate in sports activities with members of the Nigerian Navy.
“We greatly appreciate Nigeria, and the city of Lagos, for welcoming our crew to their country,” Mr Graham said.
“Nigeria is the lynchpin for Gulf of Guinea maritime security; our Sailors are excited to be working with their counterparts at sea and to engage with Nigerian communities ashore,” Mr Graham said.
With the largest Navy in the Gulf of Guinea region, Nigeria enjoys a strong partnership with the U.S.