Vigor Marine Awarded $30M Contract for USNS Miguel Keith Post Shakedown Availability

Vigor Marine is being awarded a $30 million firm-fixed-price contract for a 120-calendar day shipyard availability for the post shakedown availability (PSA) of the US Navy expeditionary sea base USNS Miguel Keith (T-ESB 5).

The Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC), which operates the vessel, is the contracting activity (N32205-20-C-4037). The contract amount consists of the amounts listed in the following areas: Category “A” work item costs, additional government requirement, other direct costs, and the general and administrative costs.

The work will be performed in Portland, Oregon. It will include the furnishing of general services, shipboard access, clean and gas free tank voids and cofferdams, machinery room to pump room watertight door, machinery space deck utilization plan, hull perimeter lighting, machinery space closed circuit television monitoring system and bow camera, install of the third air condition plant in forward house, aft house grey water system isolation, segregate grey and black water transfer line, forward main fire loop installation, aft house habitability mods and engineering control room No. 1 deck head install.

The post shakedown availability of USNS Miguel Keith is expected to be complete by December 2020.

USNS Miguel Keith (T-ESB-5)
The future USNS Miguel Keith (ESB 5) departs General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego, Calif for week-long acceptance trials by the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). NASSCO photo.

USNS Miguel Keith was constructed by General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego. The keel laying for the vessel was conducted on Jan. 30 last year and she was christened on Oct. 19. The Navy accepted delivery of the vessel on Nov. 15 last year.

The vessel is named in honor of Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Miguel Keith. She is the first ship to bear the name and was announced by the then U.S. Secretary of the Navy, Richard V. Spencer during a ceremony in National Harbor, Maryland on Nov. 4, 2017.

As an MSC ship, Miguel Keith will be primarily civilian manned by either civil service mariners or contract crews. It may have Navy or Marine Corps personnel on board to carry out communication and special mission functions, or for force protection.

NASSCO is currently under contract for detail design and construction of ESB 6 and 7, with an option for ESB 8.

ESB-class ships

ESB class ships are highly flexible, modular platforms optimized to support a variety of maritime-based missions including Special Operations Force (SOF) and Airborne Mine Counter Measures (AMCM) support operations in addition to humanitarian support and sustainment of traditional military missions.

Built by General Dynamics NASSCO, the Montford Point-class is comprised of five ships across two variants: expeditionary transfer dock (ESD) and expeditionary sea base (ESB). USNS Montford Point (T-ESD 1), USNS John Glenn (T-ESD 2), and USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) and USNS Miguel Keith (ESB 5) have been delivered to the fleet.

The 784-foot-long vessels have an aviation hangar and a 52,000 sq. ft. flight deck that includes four operating spots capable of landing MV-22 Osprey and MH-53E Sea Stallion equivalent tiltrotor/rotary-wing aircraft, accommodations, workspaces, and ordnance storage for an embarked force. The platforms will also provide enhanced command and control, communications, computers, and intelligence capabilities to support embarked force mission planning and execution. The reconfigurable mission deck area can store embarked force equipment including mine sleds and rigid hull inflatable boats.

The ESB vessels are/will be operated by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) with predominantly civilian crews, with the exception of USS Lewis B. Puller, which owing to the nature of her operations, was commissioned and now operated directly by the Navy with USN crews. After commissioning on 17 August 2017 in Bahrain, Lewis B. Puller’s prefix changed from USNS to USS and her hull designation changed from T-ESB-3 to ESB-3.

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