Delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder to the Navy. ESB 5 will be owned and operated by Military Sealift Command.
ESBs are highly flexible, modular platforms that are optimized to support a variety of maritime based missions including Special Operations Force and Airborne Mine Counter Measures support operations in addition to humanitarian support and sustainment of traditional military missions.
ESBs include a four spot flight deck and hangar and a versatile mission deck and are designed around four core capabilities: aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging support, and command and control assets. ESBs will operate as the component commander requires providing the U.S. Navy fleet with a critical access infrastructure that supports the flexible deployment of forces and supplies.
USNS Miguel Keith was constructed by General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego. NASSCO is under contract for detail design and construction of ESB 6 and 7, with an option for ESB 8.