Sept. 24 (UPI) — The USS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams conducted passing and communications exercises with the Senegalese naval counterpart patrol vessel Kedougou this week, according to the Navy.
“It was an honor and pleasure working beside the Senegalese Navy Warship OPV Kedougou and her crew,” said Capt. David L. Gray, commanding officer, Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams, blue crew. “Their team was very professional and outstanding at ship driving, tactical signals, and excellent communicators. The Hershel Woody Williams looks forward to our future interoperability with the country of Senegal and the Kedougou crew.”
The two vessels used the Segenalese Maritime Operations Center to communicate and pass information to conduct the exercise, and Marines from II Marine Expeditionary Force provided additional assets for communication between the ships.
U.S. Navy vessels frequently conduct training exercises with allies and partners.
The Blue Crew of the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams departed Naval Station Norkfolk for its inaugural deployment in July with the intention of conducting missions that include counter-piracy and partner-training operations as well as special operations forces support.
It was originally commissioned as the USNS Williams but redesignated as a warship, allowing it to legally carry out offensive military operations like allowing Marines or Navy SEALS to launch attacks from the ship.
The Williams is intended to be a long-term presence assigned to the U.S. Africa Command mission set.