The Navy accepted delivery of its third Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship, USNS Miguel Keith (ESB 5) Nov. 15.
Delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder to the Navy. 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 Capt. Scot Searles, Strategic Sealift and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office 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 was constructed by General Dynamics 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.