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US Africa Command navy ship makes second Walvis call one year later

US Africa Command navy ship makes second Walvis call one year later

The USS Herschel “Woody” Williams arrived at the Port of Walvis Bay over the weekend for a scheduled naval visit of the United States Africa Command. The same ship visited Namibia a year ago in September 2021.

The Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy, Ms Jessica Long, welcomed the ship to port. She was accompanied by a delegation of senior officers of the US Africa Command, as well as Namibian government dignitaries and local military officers.

“Following our last visit to Walvis Bay in 2021, we hoped to continue fostering relationships with our Namibian counterparts,” said Captain Chad Graham, the ship’s commanding officer.

“We are thrilled to be returning less than a year later, continuing to engage our partners here and promote security in the region through a consistent maritime presence,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Namibian navy participated in Exercise Obangame Express, the largest annual maritime security exercise in western Africa, joined by Angola and Brazil.

“The deployment of the Namibian Navy’s largest vessel, the NS Elephant, in Exercise Obangame Express 2022, illustrates not only the willingness of Namibia to partner in this domain, but also its commitment to assume a leadership role, serving as an example to other partners throughout the region. The United Sates Navy takes great pride in its partnership with the Namibian Navy and looks forward to expanding this partnership in the years to come,” said Lieutenant Colonel William Lange, Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché to the US Embassy in Windhoek.

This sentiment was echoed by the Deputy for Civil-Military Engagement in AFRICOM, Amb Andrew Young, who said “Namibia’s willingness to partner with the United States to explore multilateral solutions to some of the most complex maritime security challenges has been highlighted in recent years. Namibia has long been a participant in the multilateral Obangame Express maritime exercise series and this year the Namibian Navy for the first time dispatched a vessel, and its largest vessel at that, to take part in the exercise.”

“While there are dozens of nations that participate in this exercise, only a fraction contributes vessels to the exercise fleet. The participation of the NS Elephant in 2022’s exercise sent a clear message that Namibia is willing not only to participate, but also stands as a regional leader, forging ahead to promote a more stable regional maritime security,” he continued.

Appreciating the splendour and size of the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams, is the ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain Chad Graham (centre) flanked by the US Charge d’Affaires, Jessica Long, the Deputy for Civil-Military Engagement for AFRICOM, Amb Andrew Young and the Mayor of Walvis Bay, His Worship Trevino Forbes, on the left, and the CO of the NS Daures, Commander Lacdon Yolsmu Maanda, on the right. The delegation was joined by Namibian and US naval personnel.


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