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Welcome Aboard!

Download CAPT Thomas Mays' letters:
Command Philosophy: here.pdf icon
For Sailors: here.pdf icon
For Families: here.pdf icon

Command Duty Officer: (619) 218-2207 (Blue Crew)
Command Duty Officer: (619) 708-7421 (Gold Crew)
Ombudsman (Blue):
Ombudsman (Gold):
Ombudsman Facebook Page:  John L. Canley ESB-6 BLUE Ombudsman
Ship's Facebook Page:  John L. Canley ESB-6 BLUE / USS Hon L Canley - ESB6 Gold Crew
Sponsor Coordinator, BMC(SW/AW/IW) Rauschenburg at e-mail: /


August 2, 2023

From: Commanding Officer, PCU JOHN L. CANLEY (ESB 6) BLUE 
To: All Hands


1. Mission: The Expeditionary Sea Base class of US Navy warships serve the United States national military strategy as a versatile and reliable forward-deployed staging platform for Marine Corps airborne mine counter measures, special operations forces, security teams, unmanned systems, and other embarking units through all phases of armed conflict, as well as peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and support of civil authorities. Our mission as a pre-commissioning unit is to prepare ourselves as Blue Crew to man, maintain, operate, and defend USS JOHN L. CANLEY (ESB 6) in our designated area of operations alongside our Civilian Mariners and Gold Crew, anywhere in the world.

2. Partnership: The core of the ESB concept relies upon the efficient melding of teams to accomplish together whatever mission or task we are assigned. This requires flexibility, accountability, resourcefulness, communication, and above all else TRUST. Some say an ESB is two ships within one hull, due to our hybrid civilian/military and dual MILCREW structure. Push past this. Do not “other” our partners. Embrace Gold Crew and our CIVMARs as true shipmates, one team broken into many for better focus, just as we work in different departments.

3. Principles: As a career Surface Warfare Officer of over 26 years, I have received many leaders’ wisdom. No one 
statement can encompass everything, but all should be kept in mind.

  a. Achieve victory through the example of SgtMaj John L. Canley – learn it and live it!

  b. Surface Warriors in uncertain circumstances should remember ONCE: O – N – C – E.
Operate: Handle the immediate problem to the best of your training and judgment
Navigate: Look up and around, make sure distraction doesn’t steer you into danger
Communicate: Let others know what happened, whether you need help or not
Educate: Whether the final outcome was good or bad, pass on your lessons learned

  c. There is a right way to do everything. Hopefully, the right, working way is the same as the approved, written way. If it is not, STOP, inform leadership, and we’ll work out the right way together. Only I as CO can approve deviations from written procedure. This is to cover and protect you, not to get in your way. Let me help you – keep me informed.

  d. Always apply PBED (Plan, Brief, Execute, and Debrief) and the Seven Principles of Effective Watchstanding: Level of Knowledge, Procedural Compliance, Questioning Attitude, Forceful Backup, Formality, Integrity, and Supervisory Control.

  e. Respect for all is the standard. Treat your brother and sister crew-mates as you would want to be treated. Get outside your own perspective and celebrate our differences.

  f. You are more than your job. Look out for one another and take care of your whole self.

                             THOMAS A. MAYS
                             CAPT                US

Greetings, Shipmate!

Congratulations on receiving orders to the Blue Crew of Pre-Commissioning Unit JOHN L. CANLEY (ESB 6), the fourth ship in the LEWIS B. PULLER class of Expeditionary Mobile Sea Bases. Our unique mission is vital to the United States’ national military strategy and you are vital to our success in that mission!

Expeditionary Mobile Sea/Staging Bases are large hybrid vessels, with navigation, seamanship, deck-handling, and engineering functions handled by civilian mariners, and the aviation, operations, communications, security, and supply functions handled by two military crews, Blue and Gold. After commissioning and certification, these ships are forward-deployed around the world and remain on station long-term, with the civilian and military crews swapping out every few months. Because of the nature of our missions supporting US Marine Corps aviation or special operations forces, ESBs were permanently shifted from USNS vessels under the Military Sealift Command to USS warships under Expeditionary Strike Group command.

The eventual USS JOHN L. CANLEY (ESB 6) is named after USMC Sergeant Major John L. Canley, Medal of Honor recipient for his heroic deeds leading combat operations and saving Marines under fire in the Battle of Hué City during the Vietnam War in February of 1968. Currently under construction in San Diego at General Dynamics National Steel & Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), CANLEY delivered to the US Navy in March of 2023 and is homeported in San Diego, deploying later to the Commander Seventh Fleet (C7F) area of operations in the Western Pacific. Answers to many of your questions about the ship, the mission, the Pre-Com Unit, or the San Diego area can be found at our website (, Military OneSource (, and/or the San Diego Fleet & Family Support Center (

Please contact the Sponsor Coordinator, BMC(SW/AW/IW) Rauschenburg at e-mail: / or my Command SEL, CMDCS(SW) Green via e-mail: / at your earliest opportunity. We look forward to assigning your sponsor, assisting your move/transition, and supporting you and your family during your pre-arrival training track. Take care!
                            THOMAS A. MAYS
                            CAPT                  US

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is an Ombudsman?
Every Command has an Ombudsman who is a spouse of a sailor at the Command. The Ombudsman serves as the liaison between the command and the families. The Ombudsman is the point of contact for the families. He or she can assist families with navigating through Navy life through resources and information.

2. How can an Ombudsman help me?
Navy Family Ombudsmen are key resources for family members, particularly during deployments. Ombudsmen maintain current resource files with information on military and civilian community agencies that can help families solve a variety of problems, and successfully meet the challenges they face before, during, and after deployments. In addition to providing referral information, Ombudsmen can facilitate communication between the Command and family members. Ombudsmen may publish or contribute to command newsletters or maintain care lines, which have recorded messages with information for command families that can be accessed 24 hours a day. Ombudsmen can also assist families in contacting the Command for a variety of reasons.

3. What is the role of the COMNAVSURFPAC Force Ombudsman?
The Force Ombudsman provides oversight and guidance for all the Surface Ship's Ombudsmen in the Pacific Fleet Area of Responsibility. You can contact the Surface Forces Ombudsman at (619) 301-6983 or send an email to

4. What is an IA assignment or tour?
An IA is an Individual Augmentee. A Sailor may receive orders to go IA and this means that he or she will deploy as an Individual, not with their command. Sometimes an IA will deploy and be stationed with another branch of the Military.

5. What is NFAAS?
Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System. This is how the Navy will track your family and assess your needs during an emergency.

6. How can I find out more about medical, dental or Navy family resources?
Contact your Command Ombudsman. He or she will guide you to your resources.

San Diego image text
USS John L. Canley (ESB 6) Blue
Unit 100338, Box Number 1
FPO AP 96693



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