Aug. 14 (UPI) — The USS Hershel “Woody” Williams arrived in Naples Thursday for a routine logistics stop, the Navy announced.
The 784-foot-long Williams is the second of a new class of sea-basing ships and is crewed by a Blue Crew and a Gold Crew, which will turn over periodically to allow for continuity as the ship continues on its deployment.
“The Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams, and the entire ESB class, are on the leading edge of naval integration,” said Vice Adm. Gene Black, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, “In this complex maritime environment, a ship like this enables options to project power with a persistent presence. The ship is ideal for missions in this theater as it can readily integrate with the Marines and our allies and partners in many of our operations throughout the region at varying levels of complexity.”
The vessel, which was commissioned in March, left for its inaugural deployment at the end of July.
Black said the Williams will be a long-term presence assigned to U.S. Africa Command.
“The crew of the USS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams has worked hard preparing for this deployment and we’re excited to work with our many allies and partners and support operations throughout U.S. 6th Fleet,” said Capt. David L. Gray, commanding officer, USS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams, Blue Crew. “We’re truly thankful to our Italian allies, hosting our first visit and allowing us to pull in under the shadow of Vesuvius in beautiful Naples.”