Tag Archives: USNS Miguel Keith (T-ESB-5)

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.

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.