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Petty Officers 2nd Class Nathan A. Milca, right, and Drake W. Childers perform maintenance on the forward house antennae aboard the expeditionary sea base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams while moored in Cape Town, South Africa, for maintenance, Oct. 5, 2021.
Petty Officers 2nd Class Nathan A. Milca, right, and Drake W. Childers perform maintenance on the forward house antennae aboard the expeditionary sea base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams while moored in Cape Town, South Africa, for maintenance, Oct. 5, 2021. (Malachi Lakey/U.S. Navy)

The U.S. Navy and its contractors have finished two weeks of work on the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams in South Africa, marking the first such maintenance and repair effort on an expeditionary sea base in a country service officials called an important partner in the region.

The Navy also flew in 26,000 pounds of supplies on the first ever naval logistical support flight into Cape Town for a U.S. warship, a service statement said Tuesday.

The flight carried supplies, mail and additional items needed for the southern reaches of the U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Naval Forces Africa areas of responsibility.

Both the U.S. and South African economies rely on maritime shipping and secure sea lanes, the statement said.

“As the only ship permanently assigned to AFRICOM, much of what we do is geared toward continuing to build ties with partner nations in Africa and exploring how we can work together,” Capt. Chad Graham, the ship’s commanding officer, said in the statement. “This maintenance period was a perfect example of that, where we received mission-critical repairs from a South African company and benefited the local economy.”

The maintenance period wrapped up Monday. Repairs were done on the flight deck safety nets, the mission deck, the freeboard, the superstructure, the insulation and the lighting fixtures.

The supply flight into Cape Town involved the Multinational Heavy Lift Airlift Wing, based out of Papa Air Base, Hungary, the statement said.

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