Tag Archives: NASSCO

Christening of Earl Warren

General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) christened the future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207), the third ship for the U.S. Navy’s John Lewis-class fleet oiler program, on January 21, 2023. Secretary of the U.S. Navy (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro, served as the principal speaker at the ceremony, in addition to remarks from NASSCO and U.S. Navy representatives. Following brief remarks, the ship’s sponsor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, christened the ship with the traditional champagne bottle break alongside the hull.

USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207)
The future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207) Christening Ceremony

«Along with its namesake, this majestic vessel will be instrumental in shaping the future of our nation. The shipbuilders of NASSCO are proud to have ensured Earl Warren’s legacy will live on in this ship», said David Carver, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. «On behalf of the 48-hundred employees of General Dynamics NASSCO, I am proud to present the USNS Earl Warren for christening to our sponsor the Supreme Court Justice, Elena Kagan».

The ship honors Earl Warren, 14th Chief Justice of the United States of the Supreme Court. During his 16 years as Chief Justice, a period of time when the Supreme Court was known as the “Warren Court”, civil rights and civil liberties were dramatically expanded, marking this period as one of the most important periods in the history of American constitutional law.

«Indeed, the ship’s motto could not be more appropriate: ‘I Will Find a Way or I Will Make One,’» said Del Toro. «That’s exactly what a young Earl Warren did when he overcame obstacles to joining the Army during the First World War, and that’s what he continued to do in the fight for equality, democracy, and social justice throughout his life».

General Dynamics NASSCO was awarded with a contract to design and build the first six ships, T-AO-205 – T-AO-210, by the U.S. Navy for the next generation of fleet oilers, the John Lewis-class in 2016. In 2022, the U.S. Navy awarded NASSCO with a contract modification for the construction of two additional John Lewis-class fleet oilers (T-AO-211 and 212), with the option for the U.S. Navy to procure an additional oiler, T-AO-213 which was included in the 2023 defense budget.

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 Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208) and the future USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO-209), – are currently under construction. The second ship, the future USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206) will be delivered to the U.S. Navy later this year. The lead ship, the USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205) was delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2022.

The 742-foot-long/226-meter-long oilers are designed to transfer fuel to U.S. Navy carrier strike group ships operating at sea and have the capacity to carry 157,000 barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and up to a speed of 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h.

Keel-laying ceremony

On Monday, December 5, General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) laid the keel for the future USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208), the fourth ship in the John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oiler program for the U.S. Navy.

USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208)
General Dynamics NASSCO Lays Keel for Future USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208)

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, sixth Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, the sponsor for the future USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208) and daughter of the ship’s namesake, welded her initials onto a steel plate that will be permanently affixed to the ship’s keel and will remain with the vessel throughout its time in service.

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 fourth ship honors Robert F. Kennedy, who served as the U.S. Attorney General from 1961 to 1964 and as a U.S. Senator from New York from 1965-1968.

Expeditionary Sea Base

The keel for the future USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB-7), a Lewis B. Puller-class Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB), was laid at General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (GD-NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego, October 21.

USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB-7)
The keel for the future USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB-7), a Lewis B. Puller-class Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB), was laid at General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (GD-NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego, October 21. ESB-7 is named for Private First Class Robert Ernest Simanek, a Medal of Honor and Purple Heart awardee, and the ceremony was attended by his daughter, Ann Simanek

The ship is named for Private First Class Robert Ernest Simanek, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for shielding fellow Marines from a grenade at the Battle of Bunker Hill during the Korean War. The Medal of Honor was presented to him by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a White House ceremony in 1953.

Simanek recently passed away on August 1, 2022. In addition to the Medal of Honor, he received a Purple Heart award, the Korean Service Medal with two bronze service stars, the United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. His daughter, Ann Simanek, is the sponsor of the ship and attended the keel laying ceremony.

«We are honored this ship will celebrate the late Robert E. Simanek’s legacy as a Medal of Honor recipient and Korean War veteran and his dedication to our country», said Tim Roberts, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office Ships. «ESBs provide a critical capability to the fleet and provide for increased flexibility».

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 Sea Dragon 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 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 John L. Canley (ESB-6) and the 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.

U.S. Navy Ships

General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), a subsidiary of General Dynamics (GD), announced on August 05, 2022 that it received $1.4 billion in U.S. Navy contract modifications for construction of a sixth Expeditionary Sea Base ship (ESB-8) and two additional John Lewis-class fleet oilers (T-AO 211 and 212). This award comes in addition to $600 million already received to procure long-lead time materials for the same ships. The contract modification also provides an option for the Navy to procure an additional oiler, T-AO-213, bringing the total potential value to $2.7 billion for the four ships.

Lewis B. Puller-class
Contract modifications provide full funding for three ships – ESB-8, T-AO-211, and T-AO-212; and an option to build T-AO-213

«NASSCO is committed to working together with the Navy to deliver these much needed ships to the fleet», said Dave Carver, President of General Dynamics NASSCO. «As partners with the Navy, we remain dedicated to ensuring the success of both of these programs to help enhance and expand the Navy’s forward presence and warfighting capabilities while providing sustained growth for our workforce».

Construction of the four ships is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2023 and continue into 2027.

In 2011, the Navy awarded NASSCO with a contract to design and build the first two ships in the newly created Mobile Landing Platform program, the USNS Montford Point (T-ESD-1) and USNS John Glenn (T-ESD-2). The program evolved, adding the USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB-3), USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB-4), USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5), the future USS John L. Canley (ESB-6) and the future USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB-7), configured as ESBs. ESB ships are highly flexible platforms designed to support multiple maritime-based missions, including Air Mine Counter Measures, Special Operations Forces, and limited crisis response.

Acting as a mobile sea base, this 784-foot/239-meter ship has a 52,000 square-foot/4,831 square-meter flight deck to support MH-53, MH-60 Seahawk, MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor, and H1 aircraft operations. The future USS John L. Canley (ESB-6) and USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB-7) are currently under construction.

In 2016, the Navy awarded NASSCO with a contract to design and build the first six ships in the next generation of fleet oilers, the John Lewis-class. Designed to transfer fuel to U.S. Navy ships operating at sea, the 742-foot/226-meter vessels have a full load displacement of 49,850 tons, capacity to carry 157,000 barrels/24,961,005 liters of oil and significant amounts of dry cargo, as well as providing aviation capability while traveling at speeds up to 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h. The first ship, USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205), was delivered to the U.S. Navy in July 2022. The USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206), USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207), and USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208) are currently under construction.

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.

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.

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.