General Dynamics (GD) NASSCO has christened the US Navy’s newest Expeditionary Sea Base, the USNS Hershel Woody Williams (ESB 4).
The vessel has been named in honour of World War II veteran, Medal of Honor recipient and ex-marine Hershel Woodrow Woody Williams.
USNS Hershel Woody Williams represents the fourth ship to be constructed by GD NASSCO. The vessel is expected to be delivered to the navy in February 2018.
NASSCO president Kevin Graney said: “Every day we as shipbuilders and repairers come together to be a part of something much larger than ourselves.
“The ships we design, construct and maintain serve a mission that is vital to our nation and the defence of freedom.
“Like every marine, this ship is adaptable. Like its namesake, this ship is a force multiplier. We could not be more honoured and more proud to design, build and soon deliver the USNS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams.”
The new, 784ft-long ship will be used to conduct a variety of missions such as air mine countermeasures, counter-piracy operations, maritime security and humanitarian missions.
The ESB will feature a 52,000ft² flight deck to support MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters with an option to support MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft. The ship can accommodate up to 250 personnel.
GD NASSCO has previously delivered USNS Montford Point (ESD 1), USNS John Glenn (ESD 2) and USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) to the navy under the original arrangement.
The company is also under contract for a fifth ship, which is currently under construction with delivery planned for March 2019.
Image: USNS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams on christening day. Photo: courtesy of General Dynamics NASSCO.