Tag Archives: Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB)

Vietnam veteran

Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced the U.S. Navy’s newest Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship, T-ESB-5, will be named in honor of Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Miguel Keith during a ceremony in National Harbor, Maryland, November 4.

An artist rendering of the future Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship, T-ESB-5 named in honor of Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Miguel Keith (U.S. Navy photo illustration/Released)
An artist rendering of the future Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship, T-ESB-5 named in honor of Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Miguel Keith (U.S. Navy photo illustration/Released)

Keith was born in San Antonio, Texas and joined the Marine Corps on May 1, 1969.

In 1969, Keith served as a machine gunner with Combined Action Platoon 132, III Marine Amphibious Force in Quang Ngai Province, Republic of Vietnam. He was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal on April 1, 1970.

He was severely wounded on the morning of May 8, 1970 when his platoon came under a heavy-ground attack. Despite being injured in the attack and open to hostile fire, he continued to engage the enemy with heavy machine gun fire.

Keith’s efforts resulted in him killing three attackers and dispersing two remaining adversaries. Despite receiving further serious injuries caused by an enemy grenade, he continued to advance upon an estimated 25 enemy soldiers, killing four and dispersing the rest.

Keith was mortally wounded, but his performance in the face of overwhelming odds contributed, in no small measure, to the success of his platoon defeating a numerically superior enemy force.

Able to accommodate up to 250 personnel, the new ESB ship will support multiple missions, such as Air Mine CounterMeasures (AMCM), counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster-relief missions, and crisis response operations.

Also, the vessel will be capable of supporting Sikorsky MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters, with an option for future upgrades to support Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

The new 784-foot-long/239-meter-long vessel will feature a 52,000-square-foot/4,831-square-meter flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, repair spaces, magazines, and mission-planning spaces.

USNS Miguel Keith will be constructed by General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) in San Diego. The ship is expected to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2019.

Fifth Sea Base

On Wednesday, January 25, General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, began construction on a fifth ship for the U.S. Navy’s Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD)/Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) program.

The ceremony’s honoree, Jackie Ruiz, gives her sign of approval after inspecting the first cut of steel for the ESB-5 as her son watches in the background. Jackie is the wife of Bryan Ruiz, NASSCO’s Director of Planning, and is also a former NASSCO employee
The ceremony’s honoree, Jackie Ruiz, gives her sign of approval after inspecting the first cut of steel for the ESB-5 as her son watches in the background. Jackie is the wife of Bryan Ruiz, NASSCO’s Director of Planning, and is also a former NASSCO employee

Designed to provide advanced flexibility and capability for sea-to-shore missions, the newest ESB will include a 52,000 square-foot/4,831 m2 flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, repair spaces, magazines, mission planning spaces and accommodations for up to 250 personnel. Serving as a «pier at sea», the 784-foot-long/239-meter-long ship is also designed to support MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters and MV-22 tilt rotor aircraft.

The ship, ESB-5, is the fifth to be added to a contract between NASSCO and the U.S. Navy that originally called for two Expeditionary Transfer Docks: USNS Montford Point (T-ESD-1) and USNS John Glenn (T-ESD-2).

The first two ships, formerly classified as Mobile Landing Platforms (MLPs), were designed and constructed by NASSCO to support vehicle staging and transfers, and the movement of LCAC vessels. In 2012, a third ship, USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3), was added to the contract and reconfigured as an ESB, formerly known as a MLP Afloat Forward Staging Base, to support a wide range of military operations. All three ships have been delivered to the U.S. Navy, and in October 2015, NASSCO began construction on ESB-4, USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams.

NASSCO is the largest shipyard on the west coast of the United States conducting design, construction and repair of ships. In the past decade, NASSCO delivered more than 30 ocean-going ships to government and commercial customers, including the world’s first LNG-powered containerships and several other lead ships.