Aug. 17 (UPI) — The U.S. Navy is commissioning the Expeditionary Sea Base Lewis B. Puller today at Khalifa bin Salman Port in Bahrain.
Vice Adm. Kevin Donegan, commander of the U.S Naval Forces Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet, will give the primary address with Lewis Puller’s daughter Martha Downs as ship’s sponsor.
The ship draws its name from Lt. Gen. Lewis “Chesty” Puller, the only Marine to ever win 5 Navy crosses and a famous field commander in World War II and Korea.
“The name Gen. Lewis “Chesty” B. Puller is synonymous with heroism and service,” Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer said in a statement .
“His example lives not just in every Marine but in every service member who faithfully serves our nation.”
Puller, th emost decorated individual in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps, served in World War 2 and the Korean War, and is the only Marine to be awarded the Navy Cross on five separate occasions. USNS Lewis B. Puller will be the third ship to carry Pullers’ name.
The Puller is the first expeditionary sea base of its kind to be constructed. It has a 52,000-square-foot flight deck and is 784 feet long. It will act as a logistical hub for other ships with fuel, ammunition, and spare parts storage alongside its hangar and repair shops.
The sea base’s helicopter facilities and storage capacity make it ideal for humanitarian missions and other military missions.
The Puller will be permanently stationed overseas in a support role for other ships.