NASSCO Christens USNS Robert E. Simaneka

Attendees at the christening for the USNS Robert E. Simanek. Photo: General Dynamics NASSCO.

General Dynamics NASSCO has christened the fifth vessel in the U.S. Navy’s Expeditionary Sea Base program at its San Diego shipyard, the company announced May 4.

Military officials and other attendees were present for the christening of the USNS Robert E. Simanek, named after Private First Class Robert Ernest Simanek, who was honored with the Medal of Honor in 1953 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower for protecting his fellow Marines from a grenade at the Battle of Bunker Hill in the Korean War. 

Simanek’s daughter, Ann Simanek Clark, was at the event to ceremoniously break the champagne bottle along the ship’s hull.

“This ship represents the embodiment of American unity and purpose; a beacon of freedom and hope that will carry Robert Simanek’s legacy to people all over the world,” NASSCO President David Carver said.

Each vessel in the Expeditionary Sea Base program is 784 feet long and features a 52,000-square-foot flight deck to support the operations of the MH-53, MH-60, MV-22 tilt-rotor, and H1 aircraft, according to the company.

The ESB program’s sixth ship, the USNS Hector A. Cafferata Jr., is expected to be christened in 2025