Tag Archives: General Dynamics

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.

Christening of John Basilone

The U.S. Navy christened the future USS John Basilone (DDG-122) during a 10:30 a.m. EDT ceremony on Saturday, June 18, at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.

USS John Basilone (DDG-122)
Navy christened Guided-Missile Destroyer USS John Basilone (DDG-122)

Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Troy Black delivered the christening ceremony’s principal address. U.S. Senator Susan Collins of Maine; Vice Admiral Francis Morley, principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy for research, development, and acquisition; Vice Admiral Scott Conn, deputy chief of naval operations for warfighting requirements and capabilities; Don Basilone, brother of the ship’s namesake; and Charles Krugh, president of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works also provided remarks. The ship’s sponsors are Ryan Manion and Amy Looney Heffernan, president and vice president of the Travis Manion Foundation. Ms. Heffernan was unable to attend the event. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Ms. Manion christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

The ship’s namesake, Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone, received the Medal of Honor for heroism displayed in the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II, where he led his heavy machine gun sections in defense of a critical position and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. Basilone later returned to action at the Battle of Iwo Jima in February of 1944, where he single-handedly destroyed an enemy blockhouse and led a Marine tank under fire safely through a minefield. He was killed in action later that day and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his unwavering devotion and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice.

«The future USS John Basilone will serve as a constant reminder of the immense impact that actions taken by any one Sailor or Marine can truly have», said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. «Gunnery Sergeant Basilone is a national hero and this ship and crew will honor his legacy for decades to come».

This is the second ship to honor Basilone. The first, USS Basilone (DD-824), was a Gearing-class destroyer in service from 1945 to 1977.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet, providing protection to America around the globe. These highly capable, multi-mission ships conduct various operations, from peacetime presence to national security, providing a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface, and subsurface domains. These elements of seapower enable the Navy to defend American prosperity and prevent future conflict abroad.

 

Ship Characteristics

 

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 31 feet/9.5 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General Electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar (Lockheed Martin)/AN/SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (Raytheon Company) and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 96 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

Guided Missile Destroyers Lineup

 

Flight IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW 04-23-17 12-01-18 Mayport, Florida
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS 11-12-16 07-27-19 Mayport, Florida
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW 10-27-19 12-08-21 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS 09-08-17 09-26-20 Mayport, Florida
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW 05-16-21 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS 07-13-18 05-14-22 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-122 John Basilone GDBIW 06-12-22
DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee HIIIS 01-27-20
DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum Jr. GDBIW
DDG-127 Patrick Gallagher GDBIW

 

Keel Authenticated

The keel for the future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207), the U.S. Navy’s 3rd John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oiler, was laid at General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (GD-NASSCO), April 30.

USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207)
Keel Authenticated for Future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207)

A keel laying is the recognition of the start of a ship’s construction. It is the joining together of a ship’s modular components and the authentication or etching of an honoree’s initials into a ceremonial keel plate. The ship’s sponsor, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, had her initials etched into the keel plate by NASSCO welders.

«We are looking forward to getting these ships to the fleet to support at-sea operations», said John Lighthammer, program manager, Auxiliary and Special Mission Shipbuilding Program Office. «This new class of oilers are bringing much needed capability and capacity to the fleet».

The John Lewis-class T-AOs will be operated by Military Sealift Command to provide fuel and lubricating oil, and small quantities of fresh and frozen provisions, stores, and potable water to Navy ships at sea, and fuel for embarked aircraft.

The oilers feature the capacity to carry barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and a speed of 20 knots. NASSCO designed the new vessels with double hulls to protect against oil spills and strengthened cargo and ballast tanks. The new T-AOs will add capacity to the U.S. Navy’s Combat Logistics Force and become the cornerstone of the fuel delivery system.

NASSCO is currently also in production on USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206), and USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208). The future USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO-209) and USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO-210) are under contract. NASSCO is also currently in production of two Expeditionary Sea Bases (ESB) – the future USS John L. Canley (ESB-6) and USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB-7).

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

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.

Acceptance Trials

USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205), the U.S. Navy’s lead ship of its new class of fleet replenishment oilers, conducted Acceptance Trials, April 25.

USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205)
USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205) conducts Acceptance Trials

Acceptance Trials consist of a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations that allow the Navy and the shipbuilder, General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), to assess the ship’s systems and readiness prior to delivery to the U.S. Navy.

«The John Lewis-class oilers will add capacity to the U.S. Navy’s Combat Logistics Force and become the cornerstone of the fuel delivery system at sea», said John Lighthammer, program manager, Auxiliary and Special Mission Shipbuilding Program Office. «We are excited to welcome the USNS John Lewis to the fleet».

The John Lewis-class T-AOs will be operated by Military Sealift Command to provide fuel and lubricating oil, and small quantities of fresh and frozen provisions, stores, and potable water to Navy ships at sea, and fuel for the embarked aircraft.

The oilers feature the capacity to carry barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and a speed of 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h. NASSCO designed the new vessels with double hulls to protect against oil spills and strengthened cargo and ballast tanks.

NASSCO is currently in production on USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206), USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207), and USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208). The future USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO-209) and USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO-210) are under contract. NASSCO is also currently in production of two Expeditionary Sea Bases (ESB) – the future USS John L. Canley (ESB-6) and USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB-7).

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.

Builder’s Trials

USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205), the U.S. Navy’s lead ship of its new class of fleet replenishment oilers, conducted initial Builder’s Trials and returned to port, February 4.

USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205)
USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205) Conducts Builder’s Trials

Builder’s Trials consist of a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations that allow the U.S. Navy and the shipbuilder, General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), to assess the ship’s systems and readiness prior to acceptance trials and delivery to the U.S. Navy.

«Ensuring readiness through sea trials is a crucial step to bringing this ship closer to fleet tasking», said John Lighthammer, program manager, Auxiliary and Special Mission Shipbuilding Program Office. «USNS John Lewis will provide much needed capability to the fleet as the primary fuel pipeline at sea. We are looking forward to getting the ship into the hands of Sailors and merchant mariners as another tool to support at-sea operations».

The new John Lewis-class T-AOs will be operated by Military Sealift Command to provide diesel fuel and lubricating oil, and small quantities of fresh and frozen provisions, stores, and potable water to Navy ships at sea, and jet fuel for aircraft assigned to aircraft carriers. The new T-AOs will add capacity to the Navy’s Combat Logistics Force and become the cornerstone of the fuel delivery system.

NASSCO is currently in production on USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206), USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207), and USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208). The future USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO-209) and USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO-210) are under contract.

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.

Daniel Inouye

The U.S. Navy commissioned the future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118), an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, during a ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham, December 8.

USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) 05
U.S. Navy commissioned guided-missile destroyer USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118)

The future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) is named in honor of the late U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, who served as a Hawaii representative in the Senate from 1963 until he died in 2012.

The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy, delivered the keynote address at the ceremony. Remarks were also been provided by The Honorable David Ige, Governor of Hawaii; The Honorable Kaiali’i Kahele, U.S. Representative, Hawaii’s 2nd District; The Honorable Rick Blangiardi, Mayor of Honolulu; Admiral Samuel Paparo, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Mr. Ken Inouye, Senator Inouye’s son; and Mr. Ed Kenyon, Director of New Construction Programs, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works.

«The late Senator Daniel Inouye spent his entire life in public service, both in uniform and out», said Del Toro. «Senator Inouye’s life is one to be emulated and the crew of this warship will not only be inspired by his legacy, but will stand the watch with the honor and dignity deserving of a ship bearing his name».

The ship’s sponsor Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye, Senator Inouye’s wife, established a strong bond with the crew before her passing on April 7, 2020. At the keel laying in 2018, she welded her initials into the ship’s keel and, in 2019, she broke a bottle of champagne on the bow in a christening ceremony bestowing the name on the ship. During a «mast stepping» ceremony, she placed items special to Senator Inouye in the ship’s mast. Mrs. Inouye appointed two Matrons of Honor to assist with sponsorship duties: Jessica Inouye, the wife of Senator Inouye’s only son Ken, and Jennifer Sabas, Senator Inouye’s former chief of staff and current executive director of the Daniel Inouye Institute. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Jennifer and Jessica, along with the Maid of Honor, Maggie Inouye, Senator Inouye’s granddaughter, gave the first order to «man our ship and bring her to life», in Mrs. Inouye’s stead.

The commissioning ceremony coincides with the 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Commemoration events. On December 7, 1941, Daniel Inouye was a 17-year-old senior at Honolulu’s McKinley High School and rushed to a Red Cross aid station to help civilians and Sailors wounded in the attack.

On April 21, 1945, while serving with the 442nd Infantry Regiment Combat Team in Italy during World War II, an exploding grenade shattered his right arm during an assault. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation. He remained at the head of his platoon until they broke the enemy resistance and his troops deployed in defensive positions, continuing to fight until the regiment’s position was secured. Later in life, he received the Medal of Honor for his extraordinary heroism during the assault.

Commander DonAnn Gilmore, of Anniston, Alabama, is the ship’s commanding officer and leads a crew of 329 officers and enlisted Sailors. Gilmore is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University. She previously commanded Mine Countermeasures Crew Exultant.

«This crew put a tremendous amount of work into preparing to bring USS Daniel Inouye to life on December 8. We all share a deep sense of pride and honor to represent our namesake, the late Senator and U.S. Army Medal of Honor recipient Daniel Inouye and those he represented for 53 years in the House and Senate», said Gilmore. «Through USS Daniel Inouye’s service to our nation, every Sailor aboard will strive to make ours the preeminent ship on the waterfront. We embody the ship’s motto, a battle cry adopted from Senator Inouye’s Army unit, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. We will ‘Go For Broke!’ as Daniel Inouye did on the battlefield and in halls of the Senate».

The ship is nearly 510 feet/155 meters long and has a navigational draft of 33 feet/10 meters. As a Flight IIA destroyer, Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) is equipped with Aegis Baseline 9, which provides improved Integrated Air and Missile Defense capabilities, increased computing power, and radar capable of quickly detecting and reacting to modern air warfare and Ballistic Missile Defense threats.

Built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, Daniel Inouye was christened June 22, 2019, and delivered to the Navy on March 8, 2021.

In addition to Daniel Inouye (DDG-118), General Dynamics – Bath Iron Works (BIW) has five additional Arleigh Burke-class destroyers under construction, to include the future: USS John Basilone (DDG-122), the future USS Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG-124), the future USS Patrick Gallagher (DDG-127), the future USS Louis H. Wilson Jr. (DDG-126), and the future USS William Charette (DDG-130). Bath Iron Works is under contract to construct four additional Arleigh Burke-class destroyers with the Flight III configuration that includes enhanced Integrated Air and Missile Defense capabilities.

USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) is the 69th Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer commissioned to the U.S. Navy and the first ship to bear her name. Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet and critical to the future U.S. Navy. They are highly capable, multi-mission ships and can conduct various operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection – all supporting the United States military strategy.

USS Daniel Inouye’s homeport is Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Length Overall 525 feet/160 m
Beam – Waterline 65.6 feet/20 m
Draft 32.8 feet/10 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance AN/SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (Raytheon Company) and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 96 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

GUIDED MISSILE DESTROYERS LINEUP

 

Flight IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW 04-23-17 12-01-18 Mayport, Florida
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS 11-12-16 07-27-19 Mayport, Florida
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW 10-27-19 12-08-21 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS 09-08-17 09-26-20 Mayport, Florida
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW 05-16-21
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS 07-13-18
DDG-122 John Basilone GDBIW
DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee HIIIS 01-27-20
DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum Jr. GDBIW
DDG-127 Patrick Gallagher GDBIW

 

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.

Holland arrived at Groton

On Monday, November 29, 2021, the new Ocean Transport Barge Holland arrived at EB’s Groton Shipyard. The 400-foot-long/122-meter-long barge was purpose-built to support delivery of Columbia class ballistic missile submarines. Electric Boat is the prime contractor on construction of the Columbia class, the nation’s top strategic defense priority.

Ocean Transport Barge Holland
Picture of the Holland at the South Yard Construction Site

The Holland was constructed by Bollinger Shipyards, LLC, of Lockport, Louisiana. The namesake of the new barge is John Holland, the Irish-born immigrant who designed the first submarine purchased by the U.S. Navy. Holland’s design was brought to life by the shipbuilders of Electric Boat and delivered in 1900.

«We are happy to welcome Holland to her new home in the Groton shipyard», said Kevin Graney, President, General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB). «Our fellow shipbuilders at Bollinger have delivered a terrific asset, on time and on budget. Holland will play an important role in the construction of the Columbia class of submarines, which will carry nearly 70% of the nation’s nuclear arsenal».

The Columbia class is now being built at Electric Boat’s Quonset Point, RI manufacturing facility. Skilled tradespeople will construct and outfit Columbia modules at Quonset Point which will then be transported by the Holland barge to the company’s final test and assembly facility in Groton. The first Columbia module is expected to arrive in Groton in 2023.

Construction of the Columbia class, which will replace the aging Ohio class, is the nation’s top strategic defense priority. For nearly 15 years, Electric Boat has been working on plans to execute the design and construction of this crucial program. As a consequence, the Columbia class was the most complete design of any previous class of submarine at construction start in October of 2020. The company has hired and trained thousands of new skilled tradespeople, collaborated with its suppliers to prepare for the expanded demand for technical support and invested nearly $2 billion in new facilities to support construction of the Columbia class.

Christening of Harvey

General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) christened and launched the future USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206) on November 6, 2021, the second ship for the U.S. Navy’s John Lewis-class fleet oiler program. Mr. Stuart Milk, nephew of the ship’s namesake and Co-Founder and President of the Harvey Milk Foundation, served as the principal speaker at the ceremony in addition to remarks from NASSCO and U.S. Navy representatives.

USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206)
General Dynamics NASSCO christens and launches the future USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206)

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Paula Neira, Navy Veteran and Clinical Program Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender Health were the ship’s sponsors. Prior to launching the 742-foot-long/226-meter-long ship down the ways, Ms. Neira christened the ship with the traditional champagne bottle break alongside the hull.

«We are justifiably proud of every ship we build, but this one is special because of her namesake. Today, we are honoring Stuart’s lifetime of selfless service, his hope for equality, and a world without hate», said David Carver, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. «On behalf of the 35-hundred employees of General Dynamics NASSCO, I am proud to present the future USNS Harvey Milk for christening».

Former Secretary of the U.S. Navy Ray Mabus declared the John Lewis-class of oilers be named after leaders who fought for civil and human rights. The second of six ships honors Harvey Milk, human and civil rights activist who dedicated his life advocating for equality.

«Leaders like Harvey Milk taught us that diversity of backgrounds and experiences help contribute to the strength and resolve of our nation», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Carlos Del Toro. «There is no doubt that the future Sailors aboard this ship will be inspired by Milk’s life and legacy».

In 2016, General Dynamics NASSCO was awarded the contract by the U.S. Navy for the detailed design and construction of the next generation of fleet oilers, the John Lewis-class (T-AO-205). The contract calls for the design and construction of six 742-foot-long/226-meter-long oilers with a full load displacement of 49,850 tons. Designed to transfer fuel to U.S. Navy carrier strike group ships operating at sea, the oilers have the capacity to carry 157,000 barrels/24,961,005 liters of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and up to a speed of 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h. The John Lewis-class ships will replace the current T-AO 187-class fleet replacement oilers.

«The christening of the USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206) marks another historic milestone in the history of our Navy and our country. Harvey Milk’s words and actions brought hope and inspiration to many for whom our nation’s lofty rhetoric of equality and inclusion were not yet reality», said ship sponsor Paula Neira. «Today, while we must continue to carry on his work, and much work still needs to be done, by christening and launching this ship we honor his legacy, celebrate the progress that has been made in advancing diversity and inclusion for so many, and we know that wherever the USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206) will sail, she will bring that message of hope and inspiration to present and future generations».

In addition to the christening of this ship, two ships in the T-AO class fleet oiler program for the U.S. Navy –the future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207), and the future USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208) – are currently under construction. The lead ship, the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205) was launched earlier this year.