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    MSC’s Newest Ship USNS Robert E. Simanek Christened at General Dynamics NASSCO San Diego

    MSC’s Newest Ship USNS Robert E. Simanek Christened at General Dynamics NASSCO San Diego

    Photo By Sarah Cannon | The official part at the christening ceremony for the Military Sealift Command's...... read more read more



    Story by Sarah Cannon 

    Military Sealift Command Pacific

    Expeditionary sea base USNS Robert E. Simanek (ESB-7), Military Sealift Command’s newest ship, was christened during a ceremony at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, Calif., today.

    The event was attended by VIP guests including Rep. Scott Peters, Calif. 50th District; Vice Adm. Yvette Davids, superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy; Brig. Gen. Robert Weiler, Assistant Division commander, First Marine Division; Capt. Micah Murphy, commander, Military Sealift Command; Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Britt Slabinski; The Honorable Sean Coffee, General Counsel of the Navy; Capt. Bobby Summers, Simanek’s civil service master; four Medal of Honor recipients and members of the Simanek family.

    The 785 foot ship honors Private 1st Class Robert E. Simanek, a United States Marine who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Korean War at Outpost Irene, Korea. During the battle, Simanek threw himself on grenade, absorbing the explosion with his body and shielding his fellow Marines from serious injury or death. While he sustained severe injuries to his legs, Simanek survived, and spent a year recovering.

    “Today we gather in a time-honored tradition to christen this vessel, which will represent the unmatched strength and fortitude of the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps,” said Peters. “We honor the industrious sense of the local workers who constructed this ship, and the ingenuity of companies like General Dynamics NASSCO who designed and built this vessel, to help us meet the complex challenges of this world during uncertain and dangerous times. And of course, we honor the legacy of the U.S. Marine, Robert Earnest Simanek, who received the Medal of Honor for his conspicuous gallantry during the Korean War.”

    The official christening moment happened when the ship's sponsor, Simanek’s daughter, Ann Simanek Clark, broke a bottle of champagne over the ship’s bow with the words, “For the United States of America, I christen you the USNS Robert E. Simanek. May God bless this ship and all who sail on her.”

    “This ship will serve as a floating testimony to Private First Class Simanek’s valor and esprit de corps that all Marines and Sailors carry with them,” said Weiler. “Just as Private First Class Simanek stood as a protector amongst his fellow Marines and Sailors, this ship will daringly sail the oceans as a protector of American freedom.

    Simanek is the seventh ship in the expeditionary mobile base platform build for MSC, and the third expeditionary staging base model. When activated, Simanek 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.

    “The USNS Robert E. Simanek will be ready to serve as a power for peace; a critical asset during crisis, or deliverer of decisive action during time of war, if called to do so,” said Davids.

    Upon completion, Simanek will be delivered to the MSC fleet, 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.

    MSC directs and supports operations for approximately 140 civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships at sea, conduct specialized missions, preposition combat cargo at sea around the world, perform a variety of support services, and move military equipment and supplies to deployed U.S. forces. Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2024, MSC exists to support the joint warfighter across the full spectrum of military operations, with a workforce that includes approximately 6,000 Civil Service Mariners and 1,100 contract mariners, supported by 1,500 shore staff and 1,400 active duty and reserve military personnel.


    Date Taken: 05.04.2024
    Date Posted: 05.04.2024 17:54
    Story ID: 470333

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