Tag Archives: NASSCO

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.

Christening of «Woody»

The U.S. Navy christened the Expeditionary Sea Base future USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (ESB-4) during a 10 a.m. PDT ceremony Saturday, October 21, at General Dynamics NASSCO, San Diego.

USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams on christening day
USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams on christening day

The future USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (ESB-4) is the first ship to bear the name of Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer Hershel Woodrow Williams, the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient recognized for heroism at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.

Major General Eric M. Smith, commanding general, 1st Marine Division, delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Williams’s daughters, Tracie Jean Ross and Travie Jane Ross, who serve as the ship’s sponsors, broke a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship, a time-honored Navy tradition.

«This ship honors a man who dedicated his life to service-heroic service as a Marine and continued service to his fellow veterans», said the Honorable Richard V. Spencer, secretary of the Navy. «This dedication will live on in USNS 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 future USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (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 NASSCO, the Montford Point-class is comprised of five ships across two variants: expeditionary transfer docks and expeditionary sea bases. USNS Montford Point (ESD-1), USNS John Glenn (ESD-2) and USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB-3) have been delivered to the fleet. USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (ESB-4) is planned to join the fleet in 2018, with ESB-5 to follow in 2019.

The platform has an aviation hangar and flight deck that include two operating spots capable of landing Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion equivalent helicopters, accommodations, work spaces and ordnance storage for an embarked force. The platform will also provide 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.

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)

First Deployment

The U.S. Navy’s first purpose-built expeditionary sea base, USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3), departed from Naval Station Norfolk to begin its first operational deployment, July 10. Puller is deploying to the U.S. 5th Fleet to provide operational support for U.S. Navy and allied forces operating in the region.

The Military Sealift Command expeditionary mobile base USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) departs Naval Station Norfolk for its first operational deployment (U.S. Navy photo)
The Military Sealift Command expeditionary mobile base USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) departs Naval Station Norfolk for its first operational deployment (U.S. Navy photo)

«We call ourselves ‘Team Puller,’» said Commander Arlen Rose, the military detachment’s officer in charge. «The Puller is a brand-new ship, so we had a lot to learn. The military crew has been training with the ship’s civil service mariners for a year to prepare for this deployment». «We are ready to get Puller out there to takes its rightful place in the fleet», added Rose. «Everyone is really excited to get to work and see what the Puller can do».

USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) was delivered to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) in June 2015 and is the Navy’s first purpose-built expeditionary sea base. The ship has a hybrid-manned crew with a combination of military personnel and civilian mariners (CIVMAR).

«The CIVMARs aboard Puller primarily focus on the operation of the ship», said Captain George McCarthy, the Puller’s master. «The CIVMARs perform a variety of critical tasks including navigation, propulsion and ventilation services».

The 784-foot-long/239-meter-long vessel features a 52,000 square-foot/4,831 square-meter flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, repair spaces, magazines, and mission-planning spaces. Able to accommodate up to 250 personnel, USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) will support multiple missions, such as air mine counter measures, counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions, and crisis response operations.

According to McCarthy, the Puller is going to be permanently deployed overseas, which saves a tremendous amount of time in terms of operations. So, the ship’s maintenance, repairs and crew swaps will take place in theater.

USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) is named after Lieutenant General, Lewis Burwell «Chesty» Puller, one of the most decorated members of the Marine Corps. He is one of only two men, and the only Marine, to be awarded five Navy Crosses. He fought in Haiti and Nicaragua, and participated in battles of World War II and the Korean War. Puller retired from the Marine Corps in 1955 and spent the remainder of his life in Virginia.

USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) is the expeditionary sea base-variant of the expeditionary transfer dock (ESD) which includes USNS Montford Point (T-ESD-1) and USNS John Glenn (T-ESD-2). The second expeditionary sea base, USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB-4), is currently under construction by General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) in San Diego.

MSC operates approximately 120 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, and strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world, while moving military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.

USNS Lewis B. Puller deploys from Naval Station Norfolk

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.

Sea Base Ship

Secretary of the U.S. Navy Ray Mabus announced the Navy’s newest Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship, T-ESB-4, was named USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams during a ceremony in Charleston, West Virginia, January 14.

SECNAV Ray Mabus greets Medal of Honor recipient Hershel Woody Williams before naming T-ESB-4 in his honor
SECNAV Ray Mabus greets Medal of Honor recipient Hershel Woody Williams before naming T-ESB-4 in his honor

Hershel «Woody» Williams, the ship’s namesake, was born in West Virginia and joined the Marine Corps following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

In 1944, after serving in Guadalcanal and Guam, he joined the campaign in Iwo Jima. Two days after arriving on the island, Williams picked up a 70-pound flamethrower and walked ahead of his infantry’s tanks for four hours clearing their path of enemy machine gun fire. President Harry S. Truman awarded him the Medal of Honor two years later for his actions.

Williams served during the Battle of Iwo Jima until he was wounded in March of 1945. He returned to the United States, was awarded a Purple Heart and released from active duty. Later, he served in the Marine Corps Reserves for 17 years.

Williams is the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of Iwo Jima.

The new 785-foot-long/239.3-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.

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

In addition, the vessel will be capable of supporting MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters, with an option for future upgrades to support MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.

USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams will be constructed by General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) in San Diego. The ship is expected to be delivered to the Navy in 2018.

ESB 3D Model
ESB 3D Model

 

General Characteristics

Builder NASSCO
Propulsion Commercial Diesel Electric Propulsion
Length 785 feet/239.3 m
Beam 164 feet/50 m
Displacement 78,000 tons (fully loaded)
Draft 30 feet/9 m (fully loaded)
40 feet/12 m (load line)
Speed 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h
Range 9,500 nautical miles/10,932 miles/17,594 km
Crew 34 Military Sealift Command personnel
Accommodations 250 personnel

 

Second Base

On October 14, 2015 General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, began construction on the second ship of the U.S. Navy’s newly reclassified Expeditionary Base Mobile (ESB) program.

ESB 3D Model
ESB 3D Model

The 785-foot/239.3-meter ship will be configured with a 52,000 square-foot/4,831 square-meter flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, repair spaces, magazines, mission planning spaces and accommodations for up to 250 personnel. The ship will be capable of supporting multiple missions including Air Mine Counter Measures (AMCM), counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions and U.S. Marine Corps crisis response. It will also support MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters, and will be upgraded to support MV-22 tilt rotor aircraft.

In 2011, General Dynamics NASSCO was awarded a contract from the Navy to design and build two Mobile Landing Platforms (MLP), the USNS Montford Point (ESD-1) and USNS John Glenn (ESD-2). MLP was recently reclassified by the Navy as Expeditionary Transfer Docks (ESD). In 2012, a third MLP, the USNS Lewis B. Puller (ESB-1), was added to the contract and reconfigured as an ESB, or formerly known as a MLP Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB). All three ships have been delivered by NASSCO to the U.S. Navy.

Bud McKay, program manager; Dan Reed, manager of steel; Paola Gerardo, honoree; and Ian Busch, manager for initial design for naval architecture
Bud McKay, program manager; Dan Reed, manager of steel; Paola Gerardo, honoree; and Ian Busch, manager for initial design for naval architecture

 

General Characteristics

Builder NASSCO
Propulsion Commercial Diesel Electric Propulsion
Length 785 feet/239.3 m
Beam 164 feet/50 m
Displacement 78,000 tons (fully loaded)
Draft 30 feet/9 m (fully loaded)
40 feet/12 m (load line)
Speed 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h
Range 9,500 nautical miles/10,932 miles/17,594 km
Crew 34 Military Sealift Command personnel
Accommodations 250 personnel
Honoree Paola Gerardo Measures First Cut for ESB-2
Honoree Paola Gerardo Measures First Cut for ESB-2

Christening

Lewis B. Puller, the first purpose built at-sea platform for Mine CounterMeasure (MCM) helicopters and Special Operations Forces (SOF) was christened at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, California on February 7, 2015, according to the company. U.S. Marine Corps commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford was the guest speaker at the ceremony.

USNS Lewis B. Puller MLP-3/ASFB-1 (NASSCO Photo)
USNS Lewis B. Puller MLP-3/ASFB-1 (NASSCO Photo)

The Afloat Forward Staging Base – USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP-3/ASFB-1) – was formally named in a ceremony at NASSCO ahead of an anticipated delivery to U.S. Military Sealift Command (MSC) in September. The ship is capable of supporting additional missions including: counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions and Marine Corps crisis response.

The first two ships (USNS Montford Point and USNS John Glenn) have been designated Mobile Landing Platforms (MLP) and will operate as an interface between MSC (Military Sealift Command) cargo ships and Navy landing craft to expand the projection power of the U.S. Marine Corps.

The two planned ships in the class plan to be forward deployed assets for the Navy – one to the U.S. 5th Fleet in the Middle East and one to the U.S. 7th Fleet in the Pacific.

The Navy currently employs the Austin-class LPD, USS Ponce (AFSB-(I)-15), as a Middle East AFSB. In December 2014, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) awarded NASSCO $498 million to start construction on the second AFSB.

The MLP AFSB – based on the hull of an Alaska-class crude oil tanker – is a flexible platform and a key element in the Navy’s large-scale airborne mine countermeasures mission. With accommodations for 250 personnel and a large helicopter flight deck (capable of fielding MH-53E Sea Dragon MCM helicopters), the MLP AFSB will provide a highly capable, innovative and affordable asset to the Navy and Marine Corps.

USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP-3/AFSB-1) was launched at the San Diego yard on November 6, 2014. Lewis B. Puller is slated to become operational in 2015 and will likely replace the current AFSB stand in – USS Ponce (AFSB-(I)-15). The second ship (MLP-4/AFSB-2) will most likely based in the Pacific.

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 6, 2014) The mobile landing platform Lewis B. Puller (T-MLP-3/T-AFSB-1) successfully completed launch and float-off at the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO) shipyard.
SAN DIEGO (Nov. 6, 2014) The mobile landing platform Lewis B. Puller (T-MLP-3/T-AFSB-1) successfully completed launch and float-off at the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO) shipyard.

 

General Characteristics, Montford Point Class

Builder:                                             NASSCO

Propulsion:                                     Commercial Diesel Electric Propulsion

Length:                                              785 feet/239.3 m

Beam:                                                 164 feet/50 m

Displacement:                              78,000 tons (fully loaded)

Draft:                                                 30 feet/9 m (fully loaded); 40 feet/12 m (load line)

Speed:                                               15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h

Range:                                               9,500 nautical miles/17,594 km

Crew:                                                 34 Military Sealift Command personnel

Accommodations:                      250 personnel

 

Ships:

USNS Montford Point (MLP-1)

USNS John Glenn (MLP-2)

USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP-3/AFSB-1) – Launched – November 6, 2014

USNS (MLP-4/AFSB-2) – Under construction

An artist’s conception of the Afloat Forward Staging Base
An artist’s conception of the Afloat Forward Staging Base

Operate Forward

The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics NASSCO a $498 million contract for the detail design and construction of the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB). Under this option, NASSCO will provide the detail design and construction efforts to build the second AFSB of the Mobile Landing Platform-class ships. The work will be performed at NASSCO’s San Diego shipyard and is scheduled to be completed by March 2018.

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 6, 2014) The mobile landing platform Lewis B. Puller (T-MLP-3/T-AFSB-1) successfully completed launch and float-off at the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO) shipyard.
SAN DIEGO (Nov. 6, 2014) The mobile landing platform Lewis B. Puller (T-MLP-3/T-AFSB-1) successfully completed launch and float-off at the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO) shipyard.

The MLP AFSB – based on the hull of an Alaska-class crude oil tanker – is a flexible platform and a key element in the Navy’s large-scale airborne mine countermeasures mission. With accommodations for 250 personnel and a large helicopter flight deck (capable of fielding MH-53E Sea Dragon MCM helos), the MLP AFSB will provide a highly capable, innovative and affordable asset to the Navy and Marine Corps.

According to Sam LaGrone, USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute, the contract modification that funds the construction follows the first AFSB – USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP-3/AFSB-1) – that was launched at the San Diego yard on November 6, 2014. Lewis B. Puller is slated to become operational in 2015 and will likely replace the current AFSB stand in – USS Ponce (AFSB-(I)-15). The second new AFSB will most likely based in the Pacific.

Jonathan William "Jon" Greenert is a United States Navy Admiral currently serving as the 30th Chief of Naval Operations.
Jonathan William “Jon” Greenert is a United States Navy Admiral currently serving as the 30th Chief of Naval Operations

Jonathan W. Greenert, Admiral, U.S. Navy said, «The need to clear mines and support special operations forces will not end anytime soon. Moreover, because she is over 40 years old, USS Ponce (AFSB-(I)-15) will be an interim solution that will need to be replaced in the near term. To provide an AFSB for the long term, we converted one Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) and build another from the keel up that adds a flight deck, berthing, fuel storage, equipment storage, and repair spaces. Like Ponce, the new AFSBs will have a rotating crew of civilian mariners and military personnel so they can operate forward almost continuously».

«Thus, AFSBs can support patrol craft, auxiliary boats, helicopters, and special operations forces, providing a base of operations for everything from counter-piracy/smuggling, maritime security, and mine clearing to humanitarian aid and disaster relief. Although a port provides the potential for greater logistical capacity, they may not be readily available when or where they are needed most. AFSBs can operate globally in international waters, providing what may be the only way to support an important mission», added Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert.

The Chief of Naval Operations concluded by saying, «MLP/AFSBs are not a new idea, but with rotating crews and increased capacity, the MLP will dramatically improve our capability where it matters most – forward. They are a key element of my tenet to «Operate Forward», and are essential to effectively support our partners and allies in the Arabian Gulf and elsewhere».

An artist’s conception of the Afloat Forward Staging Base
An artist’s conception of the Afloat Forward Staging Base

 

General Characteristics, Montford Point Class

 

Builder:                                    NASSCO

Propulsion:                            Commercial Diesel Electric Propulsion

Length:                                     239.3 meters (785 feet)

Beam:                                        50 Meters (164 feet)

Displacement:                      78,000 tons (fully loaded)

Draft:                                         9 meters (fully loaded); 12 meters (load line)

Speed:                                       15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h

Range:                                       9500 nautical miles/17594 km

Crew:                                         34 Military Sealift Command personnel

Accommodations:              250 personnel

 

Ships:

USNS Montford Point (MLP 1)

USNS John Glenn (MLP 2)

USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP 3/AFSB-1) – Launched November 2014

USNS (MLP 4/AFSB-2) – Under construction