USS LEWIS B. PULLER is the first Expeditionary Sea Base Ship derived from the MONTFORD POINT - class Expeditionary Transfer Docks. Initially designated as Mobile Landing Platform Ships (MLP), US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus officially announced the creation of a new ship designation effective September 4, 2015, and the LEWIS B. PULLER changed her designation from MLP 3 (for some reason the ship did not carry the "T-" prefix in its designation that typically identifies civilian-manned navy ships) to T-ESB 3. The ship entered service as USNS LEWIS B. PULLER (T-ESB 3) on June 12, 2015, and was operated by the Military Sealift Command. In mid-2017, LEWIS B. PULLER deployed to the Persian Gulf to replace USS PONCE (AFSB(I) 15) as Afloat Forward Staging Base in the area. However, to give the Navy a greater operational flexibility, the ship was commissioned at Bahrain as USS LEWIS B. PULLER (ESB 3) on August 17, 2017, making her the first US warship ever commissioned outside the United States.
USNS LEWIS B. PULLER is named after Lieutenant General Lewis "Chesty" Burwell Puller, a colorful veteran of the Korean fighting, four World War II campaigns and expeditionary service in China, Nicaragua and Haiti, and one of the most decorated Marines in the Corps, and the only Leatherneck ever to win the Navy Cross five times for heroism and gallantry in action. Promoted to his final rank and placed on the temporary disability retired list 1 November 1955, he died on 11 October 1971 in Hampton, Virginia after a long illness.
|General Characteristics:||Awarded: February 26, 2012|
|Keel laid: November 5, 2013|
|Launched: November 6, 2014|
|Delivered: June 12, 2015|
|Commissioned: August 17, 2017|
|Builder: National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, San Diego, Calif.|
|Propulsion system: Diesel-Electric|
|Length: 785 feet (239.3 meters)|
|Beam: 164 feet (50 meters)|
|Draft: 29.5 feet (9 meters)|
|Light Displacement: approx. 39,900 tons|
|Speed: 15 knots|
|Crew: 5 officers, 96 enlisted, 44 MSC personnel|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS LEWIS B. PULLER. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
USS LEWIS B. PULLER Image Gallery:
The photos below were taken by Steven Collingwood and show the USNS LEWIS B. PULLER passing Fort Monroe after departure from Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on January 11, 2016.
The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the USNS LEWIS B. PULLER at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on April 13, 2016.
The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the USNS LEWIS B. PULLER at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on October 12, 2016.