Last week, a gigantic US naval ship docked at the Kenyan coast after sailing through the Indian Ocean. News of its presence in Kenya went viral with many wondering what the US naval ship was doing in Kenya.
As it turns out, the ship dubbed the Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) that arrived in Mombasa, Kenya on February 8, 2021 was on a port visit in support of its 2021 African coast deployment.
Williams is the first U.S. naval ship to enter the port of Mombasa in over a decade.
“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 will facilitate engagement opportunities between Kenyan officials and military leadership.Kenyan naval counterparts will have an opportunity to tour the ship.
They 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.”
According to the US Naval website,Williams is currently deployed to the Eastern coast of Africa to demonstrate 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.
This visit comes barely a month after American Newly elected president was sworn in. Biden trounced his fierce competitor and incumbent president trump.
During the Obama time Kenya received a lot of supports and goodies from the US president. It was during that rein that direct US flights were okayed between the two countries.
Could this also imply that the incoming president Biden who served under president Obama as his vice president seems to also have a soft spot for Kenya?
Well, we may be quick to say so.
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