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Why the US Naval ship docked 1,000KM from Uganda

SPECIAL REPORTS: The docking of the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4), a naval ship in Mombasa (which is 1,000KM from Uganda) has set tongues wagging in a region beset by conflict.

The ship arrived on the coast on February 8, 2021, in support of “US 2021 African coast deployment.”

Williams is the first U.S. naval ship to enter the port of Mombasa in over a decade.

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“Kenya is a close U.S. strategic partner in Africa,” said Capt. Michael Concannon, commanding officer, USS Hershel “Woody” Williams.

“Our visit to Mombasa confirms our resolve and commitment to the preservation of security and stability in Kenya and Africa.”

The port visit facilitates engagement opportunities between Kenyan officials and military leadership. Participants will tour the ship and learn about the many capabilities that Hershel “Woody” Williams brings to the maritime security in the region. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, tours will be limited to open space areas of the ship only.

“The visit of the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams is a mark of the deep and enduring relationship between the United States and Kenya,” said Eric Kneedler, Chargé d’Affaires a.i., at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. “We are grateful for our close military cooperation.”

Williams is currently deployed to the eastern coast of Africa to demonstrate their growth in strategic partnerships and U.S. commitment to African countries through interoperability training, maritime security and safety to allow for freedom of navigation in the region. The ship’s rotational crew swap allows unlimited operations in the Africa area of responsibility.

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Homeported in Souda Bay, Greece, the ship conducts U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) missions in the Mediterranean and the waters around East, South, and West Africa to include the southern Mediterranean, operating with regional partners. The ship supports security cooperation missions and operations in and around the African continent.

U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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