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General Dynamics, Navy Lay Keel for Future USS Simanek Expeditionary Sea Base Ship

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The U.S. Navy hosted a keel laying ceremony for the upcoming USS Robert E. Simanek vessel in honor of a U.S. Marine veteran who received military awards for his service in the Korean War.

The ship is a Lewis B. Puller-class Expeditionary Sea Base, a type of vessel used for missions ranging from personnel and supply deployment to special operation forces support, the Naval Sea Systems Command said Monday.

The USS Simanek is being constructed at General Dynamics’ National Steel and Shipbuilding Company in San Diego, along with the USS John L. Canley ESB and the John Lewis Class Fleet Replenishment Oilers.

“ESBs provide a critical capability to the fleet and provide for increased flexibility,” said Tim Roberts, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office Ships.

Robert Ernest Simanek, the late Marine private first class who died on Aug. 1 and was decorated with the Medal of Honor in 1953 for protecting other soldiers from a grenade during the Battle of Bunker Hill. He was also awarded the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal.

“We are honored this ship will celebrate the late Robert E. Simanek’s legacy as a Medal of Honor recipient and Korean War veteran and his dedication to our country,” commented Roberts.