Tag Archives: ESB-6

Expeditionary Sea Base

Construction of the fourth Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship officially began on June 25 at the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (GD-NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego, California. Due to the COVID pandemic, the milestone was marked with an informal shipyard ceremony.

Commander Chris Schindler, Officer in Charge, Supervisor of Shipbuilding Bath (det. San Diego) commences construction of the fourth Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB-6) at General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company shipyard, June 25. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the milestone was marked with an informal shipyard ceremony (Photo by U.S. Navy Released)

Expeditionary Sea Base ships are highly flexible platforms that are used across a broad range of military operations supporting multiple operational phases. Acting as a mobile sea base, they are part of the critical access infrastructure that supports the deployment of forces and supplies to provide prepositioned equipment and sustainment with flexible distribution.

«This is a great Navy day as we mark the start of construction on the fourth ship in a class of flexible, adaptable ships that will provide our combatant commanders with enhanced capabilities», said Tim Roberts, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships. «The ESB platform has proven to be a valuable addition to the Navy and Marine Corps battle force».

Expeditionary Sea Bases support Aviation Mine Countermeasure and Special Operations Force missions. In addition to the flight deck, the ESB has a hangar with two aviation operating spots capable of handling MH-53E Super Stallion equivalent helicopters, accommodations, work spaces, and ordnance storage for embarked force, enhanced Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) to support embarked force mission planning and execution and reconfigurable mission deck area to store embarked force equipment to include mine sleds and Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs).

In 2019, the U.S. Navy made the decision to commission all Expeditionary Sea Base ships to allow them to conduct a broader and more lethal mission set, compared to original plans for them to operate with a USNS designation. ESBs are commanded by a Navy O-6 with a hybrid-manned crew of military personnel and Military Sealift Command civilian mariners. This designation provides combatant commanders greater operational flexibility as to how the platform is employed.

In addition to ESB-6, NASSCO is under contract for the construction of ESB-7, with an option for ESB-8, as well as the U.S. Navy’s John Lewis Class Fleet Replenishment Oilers (T-AO 205 – 210).

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.

Expeditionary Sea Base

General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), a subsidiary of General Dynamics (GD), was awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy worth up to $1.6 billion for the construction of the sixth and seventh ships of the Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) program, as well as an option for ESB-8.

General Dynamics awarded $1.6 billion contract to build additional U.S. Navy Expeditionary Sea Base ships

«We are pleased to be building ESB-6 and ESB-7 for our Navy», said Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. «ESBs have proven to be affordable and flexible, and as the fleet has gained experience with the platform, we have worked with the Navy and Marines to develop even more capabilities and mission sets».

The contract, announced by the Department of Defense on August 23, 2019, provides $1.08 billion as a fixed-price-incentive modification to a previous contract for the design and construction of the two ships, with an option for the third that, if exercised, would bring the total cumulative value to $1.63 billion.

Named after famous names or places of historical significance to U.S. Marines, ESBs serve as a flexible platform and a key element in the U.S. Navy’s airborne mine countermeasures mission, with accommodations for up to 250 personnel and a large helicopter flight deck. The ship’s configuration supports special warfare and Marine Corps task-organized units.

Work on the two new ships of the ESB program is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2020 and continue to the second quarter of 2023, providing the opportunity to sustain and grow the workforce along San Diego’s working waterfront. NASSCO’s unique location along the historic San Diego Bay provides shipbuilders and skilled tradespeople with unparalleled access to the nation’s leading maritime support businesses, and highly-trained employees allow NASSCO to build and repair some of the world’s greatest ships in the most efficient manner possible.

In 2011, the U.S. Navy awarded NASSCO with a contract to design and build the first two ships in the newly created Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) program, the USNS Montford Point (T-ESD-1) and USNS John Glenn (T-ESD-2). The program expanded with three more vessels, the USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB-3), USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB-4) and the USNS Miguel Keith (T-ESB-5), configured as ESBs. Following the delivery of the first four ships to the U.S. Navy, the fifth ship, the USNS Miguel Keith (T-ESB-5), is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2019.