Miguel Keith

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest expeditionary mobile base, the USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5), during a 10:00 a.m. PST ceremony Saturday, May 8, at Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado, California.

USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5)
The Lewis B. Puller-class expeditionary mobile base USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5) sits pierside during the ship’s commissioning ceremony. The Miguel Keith is the Navy’s third purpose-built expeditionary sea base (ESB). While originally created to operate as a support ship under Military Sealift Command, USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5) has been commissioned to provide greater mission flexibility in accordance with the laws of armed conflict. USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5) is named after Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Lance Corporal Miguel Keith and is the first ship to bear the name (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin C. Leitner)

Due to public health and safety concerns related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the commissioning ceremony was private with a limited audience.

Admiral Craig Faller, commander, U.S. Southern Command, delivered the commissioning ceremony’s principal remarks. Mrs. Eliadora Delores Keith, Lance Corporal Miguel Keith’s mother, was the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony was highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Eliadora Keith gives the order to «man our ship and bring her to life»!

Captain Troy A. Fendrick, a native of Tempe, Arizona, is the ship’s commanding officer and leads a crew of roughly 100 military officers and crew, alongside 44 Military Sealift Civil Service Mariners. The ship is 785 feet/239 m in length, has a beam of 164 feet/50 m, and a navigational draft of approximately 39 feet/12 m.

The ship, named in honor of Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Lance Corporal Miguel Keith, was built in San Diego by General Dynamics National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO) and was delivered to the Navy on November 15, 2019.

USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5) is the third Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB). ESB was previously known as Afloat Forward Staging Base. These vessels are highly flexible platforms that provide logistics movement from sea to shore supporting a broad range of military operations. The ESB is designed around four core capabilities: aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging area, and command and control.

USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5) will be part of the Forward Deployed Naval Force operating from Saipan.