Recently, Naval News contacted the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for insights into the role and value of the U.S. Navy’s Expeditionary Sea Bases, specifically designed for special operations and expeditionary warfare.

Supporting a Wide Variety of Missions

Expeditionary Sea Base vessels (ESBs) are multifaceted platforms that enable special operations forces to undertake a wide variety of missions, including mine countermeasures, special operations, rotorcraft maintenance, refueling, and more.

Adapted from the design of the civilian Alaska-class oil tankers, these ships boast a cruising speed exceeding 15 knots, can cover 9,500 nautical miles at this pace, and displace 90,000 tons. They measure 239.3 meters in length and have a beam of 50 meters. Though they lack armor and automated close-in weapons systems, they are defended by manually operated .50 caliber and 7.62mm M240B machine guns.