SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Expeditionary sea base vessel USNS John L. Canley (ESB-6), the United States Navy's Military Sealift Command’s newest ship, was christened during a ceremony at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, Calif., June 26, 2022.
The 784 foot ship honors Gunnery Sgt. John L. Canley, a United States Marine who distinguished himself in battle during the Viet Nam war, in January/February 1968, during the Battle of Hu?, with Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines. Canley was originally awarded the Navy Cross but this was upgraded to the Medal of Honor, fifty years after the battle, making him the first living Black Marine to receive the nation’s highest military decoration for valor. The only previous Black recipients in the Marine Corps who received the medal posthumously.
Canley is the sixth ship in the expeditionary mobile base platform build for MSC, and the third expeditionary staging base model. When activated, Canley will primarily support aviation mine countermeasure and special operations force missions. In addition to the flight deck, the ship has a hangar with two aviation operating spots capable of handling MH-53E Sea Dragon-equivalent helicopters; accommodations, work spaces, and ordnance storage for embarked force; enhanced command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence to support embarked force mission planning and execution; and reconfigurable mission deck area to store embarked force equipment to include mine sleds and rigid hull inflatable boats.
Canley will be delivered to the MSC fleet later this year, where it will undergo testing and qualifications in preparation for its support of a variety of maritime-based missions, including Special Operations Forces and Airborne Mine Counter Measures support operations, humanitarian and traditional military missions.