US Navy christens USNS Robert E. Simanek, fifth ship in ESB program

General Dynamics NASSCO has held a naming ceremony for USNS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7), the fifth ship for the U.S. Navy’s Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) program.

General Dynamics NASSCO

As informed, the ceremony took place on May 4, 2024. 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.

The ESB ship class is a highly flexible platform designed to support multiple maritime-based missions.  ESB ships are mobile sea-based assets and are a part of the critical access infrastructure that supports the deployment of forces, equipment, supplies, and warfighting capability.

These 238-meter ships are configured with a 52,000 square-foot flight deck to support MH-53, MH-60, MV-22 tilt-rotor, and H1 aircraft operations.

The USNS Hector A. Cafferata Jr. (ESB 8), the sixth ship in the ESB program, is scheduled to be christened in 2025.

The first four ships in the ESB program – USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4), USS Miguel Keith (ESB 5), and USS John L. Canley (ESB 6) – have been delivered to the U.S. Navy.

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