Tag Archives: Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB)

Christening of John L. Canley

The U.S. Navy christened its newest expeditionary sea base, the future USS John L. Canley (ESB-6), during a 9:00 a.m. PDT ceremony Saturday, June 25, at General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (GD-NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego.

USS John L. Canley (ESB-6)
Navy christened Expeditionary Sea Base USS John L. Canley (ESB-6)

The principal speaker was Lieutenant General Michael Langley, commanding general, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, and commander, Marine Forces Command and Marine Forces Northern Command. Additional speakers include Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations, Energy, and Facilities Robert Thompson; Vice Admiral Ross Myers, commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/commander, U.S. 10th Fleet; Mr. Thomas Kiss, director of ship management, Military Sealift Command; Sergeant Major David Wilson, command sergeant major, First Marine Division; and Mr. David Carver, president of GD-NASSCO.

In a time-honored Navy tradition, the ship’s sponsor, Ms. Patricia Sargent, daughter of Sergeant Major Canley, christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

The ship is named for Medal of Honor recipient, retired Sergeant Major John L. Canley. Canley, who served in the Marine Corps for 28 years, was awarded the nation’s highest honor 50 years after his actions while serving as Company Gunnery Sergeant, Company A, First Battalion, First Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam during the Battle of Hue City. Initially awarded the Navy Cross for his actions, his award was upgraded to the Medal of Honor in 2018. Canley passed away on May 11, 2022.

«We christen the future USS John L. Canley (ESB-6), recognizing a pioneer in the Marine Corps and a devoted patriot, who earned our nation’s highest honor for his gallant actions in the Battle of Hue City», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Carlos Del Toro. « Sergeant Major Canley is an example to the men and women who will proudly serve aboard this ship and he will be remembered every day ESB-6 operates».

ESBs are highly flexible platforms used across a broad range of military operations, supporting multiple operational phases and directly contributing to American prosperity and security abroad. Acting as a mobile sea base, they are a part of the critical access infrastructure that supports the deployment of forces and supplies to provide prepositioned equipment and sustainment with adaptable distribution capability.

Expeditionary Sea Base

The keel for the future USS John L. Canley (ESB-6), the U.S. Navy’s fourth Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB), was laid at General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (GD-NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego on April 30.

USS John L. Canley (ESB-6)
Keel Authenticated for Future USS John L. Canley (ESB-6)

The ship is named for Medal of Honor Recipient Marine Corps Sergeant Major (Retired) John L. Canley.

Canley was awarded the nation’s highest honor 50 years after his actions serving as Company Gunnery Sergeant, Company A, First Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam during the Battle of Hue City.

«Sergeant Major Canley’s story is one of service, honor, and commitment. All those who serve aboard his namesake ship will carry on his distinguished legacy», said Tim Roberts, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office, Ships. «These mobile, modular sea base ships are optimized to support the needs of our Sailors and Marines while providing critical access in the maritime domain».

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

These ships 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, workspaces, and ordnance storage for embarked force, enhanced Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I). These ships support embarked force mission planning and execution and has a reconfigurable mission deck area to store embarked force equipment, including mine sleds and Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs).

In 2019, the U.S. Navy decided 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. A Navy O-6 commands ESBs and a hybrid-manned crew of military personnel and Military Sealift Command civilian mariners. This crew makeup provides combatant commanders with increased operational flexibility in employing the platform.

Construction of the future USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB-7) and the U.S. Navy’s John Lewis Class Fleet Replenishment Oilers (T-AO) are ongoing at GD-NASSCO.

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, sealift ships, support ships, boats, and craft.

Fifth ESB Ship

General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) started construction on the future USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB-7) on December 1, 2021, the fifth ship of the U.S. Navy’s reclassified Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) program.

USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB-7)
General Dynamics NASSCO Begins Construction on Fifth Ship in the ESB Program for the U.S. Navy

Dennis DuBard, a long-time NASSCO employee and the Start of Construction honoree, initiated the first cut of steel that will be used to construct the vessel.

«Today, we start construction of the ship that honors the life and service of the ship’s namesake, Marine Corps Private First Class Robert E. Simanek», said Dave Carver, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. «This ship represents the thousands of men and women who will spend roughly 2 million hours building this ship».

ESB ships are highly flexible platforms designed to support multiple maritime-based missions, including Air Mine Counter Measures (AMCM), Special Operations Forces (SOF), and limited crisis response. Acting as a mobile sea base, this 784-foot ship will be configured with a 52,000 square-foot/4,830 square-meter flight deck to support MH-53, MH-60, MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor, and H1 aircraft operations.

The future USS John L. Canley (ESB-6), the fourth ship in the ESB program, is scheduled to be launched in the summer of 2022. The first three ships in the ESB program for the U.S. Navy – USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB-3), USS Hershel «Woody» Williams (ESB-4), and USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5) – have been delivered.

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.

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

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB), USS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB-4), during a 10 a.m. EST ceremony Saturday, March 7, in Norfolk, Virginia.

The Military Sealift Command expeditionary sea base USS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB-4) is at anchor in the Chesapeake Bay, September 15, 2019 during mine countermeasure equipment testing (U.S. Navy photo by Bill Mesta/Released)

The USS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB-4) 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 recognized for heroism at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia delivered the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. The ceremony was highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Ms. Tracie Jean Ross and Ms. Travie Jane Ross, ship sponsors and daughters of Hershel «Woody» Williams, gave the first order to «man our ship and bring her to life»!

«This ship honors a man who dedicated his life to service – heroic service as a Marine, and continued service to his fellow veterans», said Acting Secretary of the U.S. Navy Thomas Modly. «This dedication will live on in USS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams as the ship is deployed around the world bringing additional capability to our growing fleet. The ceremony on Saturday will also represent the dedication to service demonstrated by the men and women who worked tirelessly to build this ship and their commitment to quality and innovation».

The USS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB-4) 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.

Built by General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), the Montford Point-class is comprised of five ships across two variants: Expeditionary Transfer Docks and Expeditionary Sea Bases. Acting as a mobile sea base, ESBs are part of the critical access infrastructure that supports the deployment of forces and supplies to provide prepositioned equipment and sustainment with flexible distribution.

The platform has an aviation hangar and flight deck that include four operating spots capable of landing V-22 Osprey and MH-53E Super Stallion equivalent helicopters, accommodations, work spaces, and ordnance storage for an embarked force. The platform will also provide unmanned aviation vehicle operations, enhanced command and control, communications, computers, and intelligence capabilities to support embarked force mission planning and execution. The reconfigurable mission deck area can store embarked force equipment including mine sleds and rigid hull inflatable boats.

Expeditionary Sea Base

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of its third Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship, USNS Miguel Keith (T-ESB-5) November 15.

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)

Delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder to the U.S. Navy. USNS Miguel Keith (T-ESB-5) will be owned and operated by Military Sealift Command.

«The Navy and industry team overcame significant setbacks in the construction of this ship, and I’m extremely proud of the urgency and determination displayed on everyone’s part to deliver a high-quality ship that will support our operational requirements in the 7th Fleet area of operations», said Captain Scot Searles, Strategic Sealift and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «Like the ship’s namesake, those who sail aboard Miguel Keith will embody his dedication to service to our country».

ESBs are highly flexible, modular platforms that are optimized to support a variety of maritime-based missions including special operations force and airborne mine countermeasures support operations, in addition to humanitarian support and sustainment of traditional military missions.

ESBs include a four-spot flight deck and hangar and a versatile mission deck and are designed around four core capabilities: aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging support and command and control assets. ESBs will operate as the component commander requires, providing the U.S. Navy fleet with a critical access infrastructure that supports the flexible deployment of forces and supplies.

USNS Miguel Keith (T-ESB-5) was constructed by General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego, California. NASSCO is under contract for detail design and construction of ESBs 6 and 7, with an option for ESB-8.

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, and boats and craft.

Acceptance Trials

The U.S. Navy’s newest Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB), Miguel Keith (ESB-5) successfully completed Acceptance Trials on October 11.

USNS Miguel Keith (T-ESB-5) completes acceptance trials

The trials were conducted off the coast of southern California after departure from the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (GD-NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego. During the week of trials, the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey conducted comprehensive tests to demonstrate and evaluate the performance of all of the ship’s major systems.

«Our ESBs are bringing tremendous operational capability to our combatant commanders. These ships are supporting a wide variety of mission sets in the 5th and 6th Fleet and more recently have demonstrated their ability to integrate mine countermeasure mission packages», said Captain Scot Searles, Strategic Sealift and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office Ships. «These sea trials demonstrated the high quality of this ship and its readiness to join the fight».

ESBs are highly flexible, modular platforms that are optimized to support a variety of maritime based missions including Special Operations Force and Airborne Mine Counter Measures support operations in addition to humanitarian support and sustainment of traditional military missions.

ESBs include a four-spot flight deck and hangar and a versatile mission deck and are designed around four core capabilities: aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging support, and command and control assets. ESBs will operate as the component commander requires providing the U.S. Navy fleet with a critical access infrastructure that supports the flexible deployment of forces and supplies.

USNS Miguel Keith (T-ESB-5) is the third platform of the ESB variant, and is scheduled to deliver in early fiscal 2020. GD-NASSCO is also under contract for detail design and construction of ESB-6 and ESB-7, with an option for ESB-8.

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, and 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.

Navy Accepts Woody

The Navy accepted delivery of its second Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship, USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB 4), February 22.

An undated artist rendering of the future expeditionary sea base USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB-4) (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics/Released)
An undated artist rendering of the future expeditionary sea base USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB-4) (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics/Released)

The delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder to the Navy. USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB 4) will be owned and operated by Military Sealift Command.

«The delivery of this ship marks an enhancement in the Navy’s forward presence and ability to execute a variety of expeditionary warfare missions», said Captain Scot Searles, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «Like the ship’s namesake, USNS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams will exemplify the Navy’s commitment to service».

USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB 4) is named for Medal of Honor recipient, Hershel Williams. During the battle of Iwo Jima, then-Corporal Williams bravely went forward alone against enemy machine gun fire to open a lane for the infantry. Williams continues to serve his fellow men and women in uniform through his foundation, the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, established to honor families who have lost a loved one in service to their country.

ESBs are highly flexible, modular platforms that are optimized to support a variety of maritime based missions including Special Operations Force, Airborne Mine Counter Measures operations, humanitarian support and command and control of traditional military missions. The ESBs include a four-spot flight deck, hangar, and a versatile mission deck; and are designed around four core capabilities: aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging support, and command and control assets. The ESBs will operate as the component commanders require, providing the fleet with a critical access infrastructure that supports the flexible deployment of forces and supplies.

USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB 4) was constructed by General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego. NASSCO is also constructing the future USNS Miguel Keith (T-ESB-5).

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, and boats and craft.