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ESB 5 Logo

Shield.  Gules, a pile reversed Celeste, bearing a semé of mullets Argent, surmounted by two couples closes Or, charged with nine ammunition rounds palewise of the last, points upward, between two stylized fire balls Or.

Crest.  From a wreath Or and Gules, three columns Argent (Eggshell), entwined by a stylized Vietnamese dragon Proper. Seal Blazon

Supporters.  Behind the shield, two palm branches in saltire at base Vert.
Motto.  On a scroll Celeste, doubled and inscribed “SEMPER IN PUGNA” Or, which translates to “ALWAYS IN THE FIGHT.

Shield.  The light blue pile/triangle with 13 stars signifies the Medal of Honor, awarded to Lance Corporal Miguel Keith for making the ultimate sacrifice to protect and defend his platoon during an attack from enemy forces.  The gold chevronels/wedges with scarlet background, suggests his rank in the United States Marine Corps, and the ammunition rounds denote his military occupational specialty as a machine gunner.  The ammunition rounds further allude to his fortitude and perseverance to fight back against the enemy.  The stylized fireballs symbolize the vigorous and courageous performance Lance Corporal Keith sustained during the attack.


Crest.  The wreath adopts the first named metal and color from the shield and blazon-- gold and scarlet.  The columns signify the Roman numeral “III,” and the Vietnamese dragon entwined between the pillars honors the 3rd Marine Amphibious Force (MAF), which was the unit Lance Corporal Miguel Keith served during his time in Vietnam. 


Supporters.  The palm branches are a symbol of victory and peace.  Together they support and uplift the shield, just as the United States Marine Corps and United States Navy work and fight alongside one another.


Seal.  The coat of arms as blazoned in full color on a white oblong disc within a dark blue designation band, edged with a gold roped border and bearing the name “USNS MIGUEL KEITH” at the top and “T-ESB 5” at the base.


Ship Characteristics

General Characteristics, Lewis B. Puller-class Expeditionary Sea Base

Builder: General Dynamics, National Steel and Shipbuilding Corp.

Propulsion System: Twin Screw, powered by four (4) MAN/B&W Medium Speed Diesel Main Engines; 24MW Diesel Electrical Plant

Date USS MIGUEL KEITH (ESB 5) Commissioned: May 8th, 2021

Length: 239 Meters

Beam: 50 Meters

Maximum Speed: ~15 Knots

Endurance: Over 9,500 NM at 15 Knots

Displacement: Light Displacement 35087 tons, Full Displacement: 106692 tons, Dead Weight 71605 tons

Crew Accommodations: 231 Enlisted and 19 Officers

Capabilities: ESBs include a four-spot flight deck and hangar and a versatile mission deck and are designed around four core capabilities: aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging support and command and control assets.

Building a Legend

          USS MIGUEL KEITH (ESB 5) (formerly USNS MIGUEL KEITH (T-ESB 5) is a Lewis B. Puller-class expeditionary sea base, one of four such ships in service with the United States Navy (USN) as of February 2024. MIGUEL KEITH had her keel laid on 30 January 2018 and was delivered to the Navy on 15 November 2019. On 8 May 2021, MIGUEL KEITH was commissioned into Navy service at Naval Air Station North Island. MIGUEL KEITH was originally a non-commissioned ship, with a USNS prefix but, like her sister ships, was commissioned by the Navy, in order to provide combatant commanders greater operational flexibility in utilizing the ESBs in accordance with the laws of armed conflict. Additionally, the vessel is particularly well-suited to humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

          The 240-meter vessel is designed to provide a floating helicopter landing base, and provide other support to military operations as an expeditionary sea base. The ship is officially a customizable floating command-and-control base and functionally a staging base, with the ability to launch helicopters and small boats, provide living quarters for troops, and command-and-control facilities. The ship can accommodate a variety of other facilities in shipping containers, including berthing for special operations troops, laundry facilities, or cold storage.



Ship Namesake

          The ship was named in honor of US Marine Corps Lance Corporal Miguel Keith by Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer at the 242nd Marine Corps Birthday Ball held in National Harbor, Maryland, on 5 November 2017. Miguel Keith was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam for actions which occurred almost exactly one year after enlisting in the Marine Corps and one month after being promoted to lance corporal. He was 18.          

          Lance Corporal Keith was born 2 June 1951, in San Antonio, Texas. He left North High School in Omaha, Nebraska, in December 1968 and enlisted in the U.S. Marina Corps Reserve at Omaha on 21 January 1969. He was discharged on 30 April 1969 and enlisted in the regular Marine Corps on 1 May 1969.

          Ordered to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, on 2 May 1969, he completed recruit training and hen individual combat training at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. Within that period, he was promoted to private first class on 1 August 1969. Following initial training, he received orders to the Far East. On 6 November 1969, he arrived in the Republic of Vietnam and served with 1st Combined Action Group, III Marine Amphibious Force.

          While participating in combat in Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam, on 8 May 1970, Lance Corporal Keith contributed significantly to his platoon’s success in routing a numerically superior enemy and was mortally wounded in the process.

          Lance Cpl. Miguel Keith died a true American Hero. His warrior spirit will carry current and future generations of service members aboard this ship as they deploy around the world in service to our great nation.


USS Miguel Keith (ESB 5)

Unit 100222 Box 1
San Diego, CA

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