Named for Cpl. Hershel W. “Woody” Williams, the U.S. Navy commissioned in Norfolk, Virginia on March 7, 2020, its newest expeditionary sea base – USS Hershel 'Woody' Williams (ESB 4).
In October of 2017 General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a christening and naming ceremony for the Navy's newest Expeditionary Sea Base, the USNS Hershel "Woody" Williams (ESB 4). The USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (formerly the USNS Hershel "Woody" Williams) is the first ship to bear the name of Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer Four Hershel Woodrow Williams, the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient.
The 784-foot-long ship is optimized to support a variety of maritime-based missions and designed around four core capabilities: aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging support, and command and control assets. ESBs can be enhanced to meet special operations force missions through increased communications, aviation and unmanned aircraft system support.
The ship provides for accommodations for up to 250 personnel, a 52,000-square-foot flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, and supports MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters with an option to support MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft. The platform has an aviation hangar and flight deck that include four operating spots capable of landing MV-22 and MH-53E equivalent helicopters, accommodations, work spaces and ordnance storage for an embarked force.
On February 22, 2018 the Navy accepted delivery of its second Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship, the USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4).