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Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD)/Expeditionary Mobile Base (ESB)

 
Description
The Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD) / Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB), formerly known as the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) / Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB), is a highly flexible ship that provides logistics movement from sea to shore supporting a broad range of military operations. ESD/ESB class ships leverage an existing commercial design of the Alaska class crude oil carrier built by General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), to ensure design stability and low developmental costs. These ships operate within Maritime Prepositioning Ship squadrons as mobile sea bases or as the component commander requires providing the U.S. Navy fleet with a critical access infrastructure that supports the flexible deployment of forces and supplies.

USNS Montford Point (T-ESD 1) and USNS John Glenn (T-ESD 2) are configured with the Core Capability Set (CCS) which consists of add-on modules that support a vehicle staging area, vehicle transfer ramp, large mooring fenders and up to three Landing Craft Air Cushion vessel lanes to support its core transfer requirements. With a 9,500 nautical mile range at a sustained speed of 15 knots, these approximately 80,000 ton, 785-foot ships utilize float-on/float-off technology and a reconfigurable mission deck to maximize capability. Additionally, the ship’s size allows for 25,000 square feet of vehicle and equipment stowage space and 380,000 gallons of JP-5 fuel storage.

USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) was the first Expeditionary Sea Base delivered and along with follow-on ships, Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) and Miguel Keith (ESB 5), will be optimized to support a variety of maritime based missions, including Special Operations Forces (SOF) and Airborne Mine Counter Measures (AMCM). The ESBs, which include a four spot flight deck and hangar, are designed around four core capabilities: aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging support and command and control assets.

Montford Point, John Glenn and Puller have all delivered to the U.S. Navy and are operated by Military Sealift Command personnel. Upon arrival in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility, Puller was redesignated from USNS and commissioned as a USS in August 2017. As a commissioned Navy ship, T-ESB 3 will have a Navy 06 in command and a permanently embarked Military Crew (MILCREW). This will provide combatant commanders greater operational flexibility on how the platform is employed in accordance with the laws of armed conflict. ESB 4 and ESB 5 are currently under construction at NASSCO's shipyard in San Diego.
 
Background
Since 2005, the Navy has conducted a series of at-sea exercises demonstrating the ability to transfer vehicles between a surrogate ESD ship and a large medium-speed roll-on/roll-off (LMSR) ship. In 2010, using the surrogate ESD, M/V Mighty Servant 3, personnel and vehicles (wheeled and tracked) were successfully transferred to the USNS Soderman (T-AKR 317) through employment of a new motion compensating vehicle transfer ramp specifically designed by the Navy for this purpose. The ships were able to successfully demonstrate transfer ability in high sea state three and low sea state four conditions.

The Navy worked in close partnership with NASSCO to identify cost savings early in the ESD design process while pursuing a concurrent design and production engineering approach. Following the successful production readiness review (an evaluation of the ship's design maturity, availability of materials and the shipbuilder's ability to successfully start construction) the Secretary of the Navy certified the design and informed Congress that the design of ESD was more than 85 percent complete and ready to proceed with fabrication.

The Navy awarded NASSCO a fixed-price incentive fee type contract for the detail design and construction of ESD 1 and ESD 2 May 27, 2011. A detail design and construction contract was awarded to NASSCO for ESD 3 Feb. 26, 2012. The ship configuration was subsequently changed to ESB 3 mid-construction via an engineering change proposal on March 12, 2014 after receiving JROC approval. A detail design and construction contract for ESB 4 was awarded on Dec. 19, 2014 and the construction contract for ESB 5 was awarded Dec. 29, 2016. ESD 1, ESD 2 and ESB 3 have delivered; ESB 4 and ESB 5 are under construction.
 
Point Of Contact
Office of Corporate Communication (SEA 00D)
Naval Sea Systems Command
Washington, D.C. 20376
 
General Characteristics, Montford Point Class, Expeditionary Transport Dock (ESD)
Builder: NASSCO
Propulsion: Commercial Diesel Electric Propulsion
Length: 239.3 Meters (785 feet)
Beam: 50 Meters (164 feet)
Displacement: 78,000 tons (fully loaded)
Draft: 9 Meters (fully loaded); 12 Meters (load line)
Speed: 15 knots
Range: 9,500 nautical miles
Crew: 34 Military Sealift Command personnel
Ships:
USNS Montford Point (T-ESD 1) - Delivered
USNS John Glenn (T-ESD 2) - Delivered
 
General Characteristics, Expeditionary Mobile Base (ESB)
Builder: NASSCO
Propulsion: Commercial Diesel Electric Propulsion
Length: 239.3 Meters (785 feet)
Beam: 50 Meters (164 feet)
Displacement: 90,000 tons (fully loaded)
Draft: 10.5 Meters (fully loaded); 12 Meters (load line)
Speed: 15 knots
Range: 9,500 nautical miles
Crew: 34 Military Sealift Command personnel
Military Crew: 250 military (mission dependent)
Ships:
USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) - Delivered
Hershel "Woody" Williams (ESB 4) - Under construction
Miguel Keith (ESB 5) - Under Construction
 
Last Update: 26 January 2018
 
 
 USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) Infographic