On February 22, 2018, General Dynamics NASSCO delivered the fourth expeditionary sea base, named after World War II Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams, to the United States Navy’s Military Sealift Command.
Construction of the USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams began October 2015 and involved more than 21,000 tons of steel. The 784-foot-long ship’s designs enables servicemen and women to carry out an array of missions including air mine counter measures, counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid, disaster relief missions, Marine Corps crisis response and more. MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters, and MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft are all supported.
“It’s a privilege to build a ship reflecting the strength, courage and dedicated service of the United States Marine Corps and Woody Williams,” said Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “From design through production, the NASSCO team worked tirelessly to make this ship worthy of Woody’s name, while upholding the highest standards of quality and innovation.”
Delivery follows the successful completion of integrated sea trials. From January 15 to 19, the NASSCO team worked alongside government personnel to test the ship’s systems and ensure its readiness for delivery to the Navy. Testing included calibration of the ship’s navigational and propulsion systems, and demonstrations of the ship’s anchor handling, fire fighting and damage control, aviation, navigation and communication equipment.
Committed to continuous improvement, NASSCO applied lessons learned from ESB 3, USS Lewis B. Puller, during the construction of ESB 4. Construction of ESB 5, the future USNS Miguel Keith, is currently 60 percent complete and will be delivered to the Navy in March 2019.