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Saturday, May 18, 2024

NASSCO Christens Fifth Ship in US Navy's ESB Program

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 13, 2024

(Photo: General Dynamics NASSCO)

(Photo: General Dynamics NASSCO)

San Diego shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO recently christened USNS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7), the fifth ship for the U.S. Navy’s Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) program.

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 784-foot 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 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 Honorable Sean Coffey, General Counsel of the Navy, served as the principal speaker at the ceremony, in addition to remarks from NASSCO, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps representatives. Following remarks, Ann Simanek Clark, ship sponsor and daughter of the ship’s namesake, christened the ship with the traditional champagne bottle break alongside the hull.

“This ship represents the embodiment of American unity and purpose; a beacon of freedom and hope that will carry Robert Simanek’s legacy to people all over the world,” said David Carver, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “On behalf of the eight thousand employees of General Dynamics NASSCO, I am proud to present the Robert E. Simanek for christening to our sponsor, Ms. Ann Simanek.”

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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