According to the US Navy, the newest Expeditionary Sea Base ship officially joined the fleet on May 8, 2021, at Naval Air Station North Island

USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5) ship was named in honor of Lance Corporal Miguel Keith, United States Marine Corps. Miguel Keith was originally a non-commissioned ship, with a USNS prefix but, like her sister ships, she was commissioned by the Navy, in order to provide combatant commanders greater operational flexibility in utilizing the ESBs in accordance with the laws of armed conflict.

Miguel Keith had her keel laid on January 30, 2018, and delivered to U.S. Navy on November 15, 2019. USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5) has a length of 239 m (785 ft), beam is 50 m (164 ft), and draft is 10.5 m (34.4 ft). She has a full load displacement of approximately 90,000 long tons, roughly equivalent to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier of the US Navy.

USS Miguel Keith
USS Miguel Keith

The ship is equipped with a flight deck of about 4,830 square meters, enough for dozens of helicopters of all kinds. It is not excluded that it can also meet the F-35B stealth fighter when needed. The crew is 250 people, including 19 officers and 231 sailors. The ship can perform a variety of missions, including mine countermeasures, anti-piracy, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, or disaster relief, etc.

In addition, this Expeditionary Sea Base also serves as a fuel storage ship for warships or aircraft carriers. USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5) can also become a maintenance workshop or mobile arsenal at sea. USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5) is powered by Commercial Diesel-Electric engines. She can reach a top speed of 15 knots, with a maximum range of 9,500 nautical miles (about 17,600 km).

USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5) was built at a cost of up to 525 million USD, in nearly 2 years. It is expected that this summer the ship will depart for the Western Pacific region. The crew would be on the front line of global conflict against threats to the United States — particularly China.


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