General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard has officially transferred the Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship, USNS Miguel Keith (ESB 5), to the US Navy.

The navy accepted the delivery of Miguel Keith, which is the service branch’s third ESB ship, during a ceremony onboard the ship at NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, California.

The ship will be operated by the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC).

Program Executive Office Ships Strategic Sealift and Theater Sealift programme manager captain Scot Searles said: “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.

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

The delivery comes after the future USNS Miguel Keith’s christening ceremony, which was held at NASSCO’s facility last month.

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In the same month, the navy completed acceptance trials of the ship off the coast of southern California.

The week-long trials tested the performance of the ship’s major systems.

Military Sealift Command Pacific commodore captain Gabe Varela said: “A flexible platform, such as the ESB’s, will allow MSC to support a variety of missions. We look forward to bringing this ship fully operational, and to explore the wide-ranging functionality, and how it will be optimized in the Pacific area of operations and beyond.”

Named after late US Marine and Medal of Honor recipient Miguel Keith, the ship is designed to support special operations force missions, aviation mine countermeasure and counter-piracy operations, and other missions.

Prior to operational deployment, USNS Miguel Keith will undergo further testing and inspection.