The Navy took delivery of a new Lewis B. Puller-class Expeditionary Sea Base ship, the service announced this week.
The future USS John L. Canley (ESB-6), built by General Dynamics NASSCO at its San Diego, Calif., shipyard, is named for retired Marine Sgt. Maj. John L. Canley. Canley in 2018 received the Medal of Honor at the White House for his actions during the Vietnam War.
“The 784 foot ship honors Gunnery Sgt. John L. Canley, a United States Marine who distinguished himself in battle during the Viet Nam war, in January/February 1968, during the Battle of Huế, with Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines,” Military Sealift Command said in a news release about the ship’s delivery.
“Canley was originally awarded the Navy Cross but this was upgraded to the Medal of Honor, fifty years after the battle, making him the first living Black Marine to receive the nation’s highest military decoration for valor.”
While the ESBs were originally slated to fall under Military Sealift Command with the USNS designation, in 2020, the Navy announced it would commission all of the ESBs as Navy warships.
“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, Program Executive Office Ships’ strategic and theater sealift program manager, said in a Navy news release. “Sergeant Major Canley nobly served his country, and his namesake ship will help provide the warfighter with capability and access.”
USS Hershel “Woody” Williams’ (ESB-4) and USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5) have deployed to U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, respectively. USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB-3), the lead ship in the class, operated in U.S. 5th Fleet for experimentation shortly after it was designated as a Navy warship.
NASSCO is also building the future USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB-7), for which it laid the keel in October.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard took delivery of Fast Response Cutter USCGC Maurice Jester from Bollinger Shipyards on Thursday.
“This is the 178th vessel Bollinger has delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 52nd Fast Response Cutter (“FRC”) delivered under the current program,” Bollinger said in a news release.