The ship, which completed sea trials last week, is named in honor of Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Lance Cpl. Miguel Keith, and is the first ship to bear the name.
ESB 5 was involved in an incident during its build: The yard’s graving dock flooded in July 2018. The ship was knocked off its blocks and took on water.
ESB class ships are highly flexible, modular platforms optimized to support a variety of maritime-based missions, including Special Operations Forces and Airborne Mine Counter Measures support operations, in addition to humanitarian support and sustainment of traditional military missions.
Built by General Dynamics NASSCO, the Montford Point-class is comprised of five ships across two variants: expeditionary transfer dock and expeditionary sea base. USNS Montford Point (T-ESD 1), USNS John Glenn (T-ESD 2), USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), and USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) have been delivered to the fleet. Miguel Keith is the third platform of the ESB variant, and is scheduled to deliver later this year.
The platform has an aviation hangar and flight deck that include four operating spots capable of landing MV-22 and MH-53E equivalent helicopters, accommodations, work spaces and ordnance storage for an embarked force. The platform will also provide enhanced command and control, communications, computers and intelligence capabilities to support embarked force mission planning and execution. The reconfigurable mission deck area can store embarked force equipment including mine sleds and rigid hull inflatable boats.