Future USNS Miguel Keith docked at NASSCO
The future USNS Miguel Keith docked at NASSCO. Courtesy of the shipyward

The Navy has accepted delivery of the USNS Miguel Keith, the third Expeditionary Sea Base, a virtual floating Marine base built by NASSCO in San Diego.

The ship features a flight deck for helicopters and tiltrotors, aviation-support facilities, berths for Marines,  equipment storage, and a command-and-control center. It’s designed to support low-intensity missions, allowing more expensive amphibious warfare ships to be deployed elsewhere.

Construction of the new ship suffered a setback when a dry dock accidentally flooded in 2018.

“The Navy and industry team overcame significant setbacks in the construction of this ship, and I’m extremely proud of the urgency and determination displayed on everyone’s part to deliver a high-quality ship that will support our operational requirements in the 7th Fleet area of operations,” said Capt. Scot Searles, strategic sealift and theater sealift program manager.

“Like the ship’s namesake, those who sail aboard Miguel Keith will embody his dedication to service to our country,” said Searles.

The new ship is named in honor of Vietnam War veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Lance Cpl. Miguel Keith, and was christened by his mother, Eliadora Delores Keith, in October.

The NASSCO shipyard in Barrio Logan is currently under contract design and construction of the 4th and 5th ships in the series.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.