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USS Hershel 'Woody' Williams trains with Brazilian ship off African coast

By Jake Thomas
USS Hershel 'Woody' Williams trains with Brazilian ship off African coast
The USS Hershel "Woody" Williams, pictured, participated in an exercise alongside the Brazilian Frigate Independência off the coast of Africa on Aug. 22 and 23. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy

Aug. 31 (UPI) -- The USS Hershel "Woody" Williams, with the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy, finished a training exercise off of Africa's west coast with Brazil's navy and marine corps, the Pentagon announced.

The drill, part of the Brazilian-led GUINEX-I training exercise off the Gulf of Guinea, was meant to improve the regional interoperability between forces with a focus on combating piracy and other illicit activities, the U.S. Marine Corps said Monday in a press release.

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The USS Hershel Williams participated in the exercise alongside the Brazilian Frigate Independência on Aug. 22 and 23.

"For sure, GUINEX-I is a great opportunity for the development of maritime security, not only for the countries involved, but for the entire Gulf of Guinea region," Cmdr. Thiago Lopes de Silva, Brazilian liaison officer to U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South, said in the press release.

The two vessels trained together on boarding ships, small boat operations, maneuvering and communications drills.

Homeported in Souda Bay, Greece, the USS Hershel Williams earlier this year sailed around Africa from Djibouti in the Gulf of Aden to Senegal, on the Atlantic Ocean.

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After its trip, the USS Hershel Williams swapped out crews so it could stay forward-deployed.

The ship, commissioned in March 2020, has had a focus on Africa and anti-piracy efforts.

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