The Navy accepted delivery of the USS John L. Canley (ESB-6), the newest

Lewis B. Puller-class expeditionary sea base ship, on March 1.

The ESBs are built by General Dynamics’ National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) [GD] in San Diego.

The USS John L. Canley (ESB-6) when it was christened in June 2022 (Photo: General Dynamics NASSCO).
The USS John L. Canley (ESB-6) when it was christened in June 2022 (Photo: General Dynamics NASSCO).

Due to their flexible capability, the ESBs are meant to support various maritime missions including Airborne Mine Countermeasures, Special Operations Force operations, Crisis Response Sea-basing (e.g., Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force), Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance and Unmanned Aviation Systems operations.

ESBs have a 52,000 square-foot flight deck with four aviation operating spots that can support MH-53E and H-1 helicopters and CMV-22 Osprey rotorcraft.

The ships are designed to support aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging support and command and control.

The ESBs are commanded by a Navy captain but have a mix of both naval military and civilian Military Sealift Command mariners. They have a range of 9,500 nautical miles and can travel at up to 15 knots.

“Today’s delivery highlights the strengths of the Navy and our industry partners, working together to bring ESB-6 and its range of capabilities to the fleet,” Tim Roberts, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager at Program Executive Office Ships, said in a statement.

“Sergeant Major Canley nobly served his country, and his namesake ship will help provide the warfighter with capability and access,” he added.

ESB-6 was christened in June 2022 (Defense Daily, June 24, 2022).

Construction of the next ESB, the future USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7), is ongoing at General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego. The company started building it in December 2021 (Defense Daily, Dec. 2, 2021).