USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams Departs San Diego For New Duty Station

Military Sealift Command’s expeditionary sea base USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (T-ESB 4) departed San Diego today en route to its next duty station on the East Coast.

Williams’ early life has been in San Diego.  Construction began at San Diego-based General Dynamics-NASSCO shipyard in October 2015, with its keel laying.   The ship was christened on Oct. 21, 2017, also at NASSCO, followed by testing and various qualifications and inspections before becoming operational within the MSC fleet.

“We’ve enjoyed having USNS Hershel Williams here on the waterfront as the ship and crew have come together and prepared to head east,” said Capt. Brett Hershman, commander, Military Sealift Command Pacific. “The coming weeks and months will give the hybrid crew the opportunity to learn the ship down to the last detail and prepare for high-demand, forward-deployed operational tasking. We wish them safe sailing.”

The second in its class, the 784-foot-long ship honors Hershel “Woody” Williams, a retired U. S. Marine, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.

The T-ESB is a flexible platform capable of supporting multiple missions including Air Mine Counter Measures (AMCM), special warfare missions, counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions and U.S. Marine Corps crisis response.  The ship’s four-spot flight deck can embark helicopters up to and including MH-53, as well as MV-22 tilt rotor aircraft.


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