General Dynamics NASSCO christened the USNS John L. Canley (ESB 6), the fourth ship for the U.S. Navy’s reclassified Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) program, today. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Michael E. Langley served as the principal speaker at the ceremony, in addition to remarks from NASSCO, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps representatives. Following remarks, Patricia A. Sargent, the ship’s sponsor and daughter of the ship’s namesake, christened the ship with the traditional champagne bottle break alongside the hull.
“Today, we celebrate and honor a true hero, Sgt. Maj. Canley. This ship represents his courage, selflessness, and strength,” said Dave Carver, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “On behalf of the 35-hundred men and women of General Dynamics NASSCO, I am proud to present the USNS John L. Canley for christening.”
In 2020, Former Secretary of the Navy, Kenneth J. Braithwaite, declared that the fourth ship in the ESB program be named after Medal of Honor recipient, Sgt. Maj. John L. Canley. Canley rescued more than 20 fellow Marines under enemy fire in Vietnam during the Battle of Huế City in 1968. In addition to the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest honor, Canley also receive the Bronze Star with Combat “V,” and the Purple Heart.
ESB ships are highly flexible platforms designed to support multiple maritime-based missions, including Air Mine Counter Measures (AMCM), Special Operations Forces (SOF), and limited crisis response. Acting as a mobile sea base, this 784-foot ship has a 52,000 square-foot flight deck to support MH-53, MH-60, MV-22 tilt-rotor, and H1 aircraft operations.
The USNS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7), the fifth ship in the ESB program, is currently under construction. The first three ships in the ESB program – USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4), and USS Miguel Keith (ESB 5) – have been delivered to the U.S. Navy.