ESB Hershel “Woody” Williams begins sea trials

The US Navy’s expeditionary sea base ship, future USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4), has left General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego for its first round of sea trials.

Launched in August, the 238.9-metre ship will serve as a flexible platform to support a variety of missions, including mine countermeasures, counter-piracy operations, maritime security and humanitarian missions.

Named after retired US Marine and Medal of Honor recipient, Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams, the ship is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2018.

Once commissioned, the ship will provide accommodation for up to 250 personnel, a 4,830-square metre (52,000-square-foot) flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, and will also support MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters with an option to support MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.

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