Support our mission
Expeditionary sea base USNS John L. Canley (ESB-6) at its christening ceremony at the General Dynamics-NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, Calif., June 25, 2022.

Expeditionary sea base USNS John L. Canley (ESB-6) at its christening ceremony at the General Dynamics-NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, Calif., June 25, 2022. (Sarah Burford/Military Sealift Command Pacific)

SAN DIEGO (Tribune News Service) — In a boon for employment, General Dynamics-NASSCO has been awarded $600 million by the Defense Department to begin preparing for the construction of three huge Navy ships at its yard on San Diego Bay.

About $500 million will go toward acquiring steel and other materials to build a pair of Lewis-class replenishment oilers that will be named after former members of the U.S. Supreme Court. One will be called Thurgood Marshall, the other Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

NASSCO also will receive $100 million to begin initial work on an as-yet unnamed Expeditionary Sea Base, or ESB, a ship that can do everything from operating Special Forces missions to conducting airborne mine countermeasure activities.

The three vessels, each which are close to 800 feet in length, will collectively cost nearly $2 billion.

The contracts will keep the shipyard busy with Navy construction work into 2027. NASSCO has 3,500 employees who build Navy and commercial vessels, and repair Navy ships. It is the last major shipbuilding company left on the West Coast.

“The NASSCO team is excited to work with our Navy partners to ensure the success of both historic programs which are critical in supporting the Navy’s forward presence,” NASSCO President Dave Carver said in a statement.

The news comes less than a week after the Navy christened the John Canley, the fourth ESB that’s been built at NASSCO. A fifth ESB, known as the Robert E. Simanek, is under construction.

NASSCO also is currently building two Lewis-class oilers named after Earl Warren, the late Supreme Court justice, and Robert F. Kennedy, the late U.S. senator. The company is preparing to build two other oilers. One will bear the name of the late Lucy Stone, a suffragist and abolitionist, and the late Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist and women’s rights activist.

All Lewis-class oilers are named after renowned civil rights leaders and social justice activists.

©2022 The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Visit sandiegouniontribune.com.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up