The United States of America has deployed the Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) ship to the Mombasa port in a bid to boost maritime security in the region.
This is the first US naval ship deployed to the Kenyan coast in over a decade. The captain manning the ship, Michael Concannon, affirmed that the arrival of the ship was proof of the commitment between Kenya and the US.
“Kenya is a close U.S. strategic partner in Africa. Our visit to Mombasa confirms our resolve and commitment to the preservation of security and stability in Kenya and Africa,” the captain stated.File image of the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) ship
His sentiments were echoed by the Interim US ambassador to Kenya Eric Kneedler who affirmed the close ties between the two countries.
"The visit of the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams is a mark of the deep and enduring relationship between the United States and Kenya,” Kneedler stated.
Reports indicate that Kenyan officials are expected to tour the ship in order to learn more about the state-of-the-art technology and other security features that the ship has.
However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the tours will be limited to open space areas of the ship only.
The war ship was commissioned by the US Navy on March 7, 2020, as part of the class of Expeditionary Sea Base ships. The (ESB 4) ship is the second in the Lewis B. Puller-class of expeditionary sea base vessels.
Named after retired Marine Corporal Officer, Hershel Williams, the 784-foot-long ship consists of a 52,000 square-foot, four-spot flight deck that helicopters can land on.
The ship can host up to 250 personnel who mainly consists of civilian mariners and sailors. The crew is mainly divided into two: blue and red crew.
The high tech surveillance systems used in the ship enables operations such as counter-piracy operations, disaster relief operations and crisis response operations aimed at boosting maritime security.
The deployment of the warship is the recent development of the strengthening of ties between the US and Kenya. Currently, the Kenyan government seeks to conclude the free trade agreement deal with President Joe Biden's administration in order to further strengthen economic ties between the two countries.USS Hershel "Woody" Williams ship arriving at the Naval Station Norfolk on July 5, 2020.File
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