US Navy commissions ESB USS John L. Canley


The U.S. Navy commissioned the future USS John L. Canley (ESB 6) as the newest expeditionary sea base ship (ESB) during a ceremony held on February 17.

US Navy

Built by General Dynamics NASSCO, currently there are six delivered ships across two variants: Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD) and Expeditionary Sea Base. The future USS John L. Canley (ESB 6) is a highly flexible platform used across various military operations.

The ship will be employed as a mobile sea-based asset. It will be a part of the critical access infrastructure supporting the deployment of forces, equipment, supplies, and warfighting capability.

The first of its name, the ship honors United States Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. John L. Canley, Ret., who was awarded the Medal of Honor 50 years after his actions during the Battle of Hue City. Canley served as Company Gunnery Sergeant, Company A, First Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, 1968. Sgt. Maj. Canley passed away in Bend, Oregon May 11, 2022.

ESB 6 joins the USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4), USS Miguel Keith (ESB 5) which support a variety of maritime-based missions, including Special Operations Forces (SOF) and Airborne Mine Counter Measures (AMCM).

ESBs have a four-spot flight deck, mission deck, and hangar, designed around four core capabilities: aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging support, and command and control assets.

Follow-on ships Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7) and Hector A. Cafferata Jr. (ESB 8) are under construction.