NAVSEA: USNS Miguel Keith wraps up 1st sea trials

The US Navy’s new expeditionary sea base vessel, the future USNS Miguel Keith (ESB 5) has completed first sea trials after last year’s dry dock incident, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) said.

Almost a year ago, the ship sustained damages while under construction at NASSCO’s facility in San Diego when its dry dock flooded. The incident occurred when a barrier keeping water out of the dock where the ship was being built collapsed.

The newbuild “got underway from General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) for the first time since the graving dock flooding incident on July 11, 2018,” according to NAVSEA’s recent update on Facebook.

“The ship was underway conducting at sea testing in preparation for delivery later this year,” NAVSEA added.

The future USNS Miguel Keith is the fifth ESB ship of Montford Point-class. The class is comprised of five ships across two variants in support of the Maritime Prepositioning Force.

ESBs are flexible, modular platforms that are optimized to support 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.

The 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.

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