USS Hershel “Woody” Williams, the second of a new class of sea-based ships called Expeditionary Sea Bases, docked at Crete’s Souda Bay base on Tuesday.
The huge vessel set sail from Virginia on July 27, for its inaugural deployment following its commissioning in March.
Its crew consists of a mix of U.S. Navy Sailors and Military Sealift Command civilian mariners.
US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt welcomed the 230-meter (755-foot) long vessel, which features a 4,830 square-meter four-spot flight deck. Further features include a hangar, mission deck, and work and living spaces for hundreds of personnel.
— Geoffrey Pyatt (@USAmbPyatt) August 18, 2020
It arrived in the Italian port of Naples last week for a routine logistics stop.
“The Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams, and the entire ESB class, are on the leading edge of naval integration,” said Vice Adm. Gene Black, Commander of the US’ Sixth Fleet.
“In this complex maritime environment, a ship like this enables options to project power with a persistent presence. The ship is ideal for missions in this theater as it can readily integrate with the Marines and our allies and partners in many of our operations throughout the region at varying levels of complexity,” he stated.
The gigantic ship is named after Marine Corps veteran Hershel “Woody” Williams, known for his heroism during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.
Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman on Oct. 5, 1945.