“Converting ESB-3 to a commissioned warship (USS) will allow U.S. Central Command and 5th Fleet the flexibility needed to meet challenges in the region,” Navy spokesman Lt. Seth Clarke told USNI News. “Potential missions, such as mine-countermeasure operations and special operations forces staging, must be conducted by a warship under the law of armed conflict. In order to provide combatant commanders the maximum amount of flexibility, the Navy decided to commission ESB-3 as a U.S. warship once she arrived in [Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command]/U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.”
U.S. Navy photo by MC1 David Kolmel
Clarke said the ship’s capabilities development document back in 2012 noted that the ship could temporarily commission as a warship if needed for emergent operational requirements. But, he added, “instead of being a temporary change, USNS Lewis B. Puller will be commissioned permanently as a listed warship (USS). Because of the nature of the evolving threats in the region, permanent conversion to USS reduces any ambiguity of ESB-3’s status and eliminates the administrative distraction that a temporary conversion creates while streamlining the command and control process. In 2016, the Navy began the necessary steps to commission the ship as a warship. All echelons, including the Fleet, [Military Sealift Command], the Type Commander, the Combatant Commander, and [chief of naval operations], agreed that permanently commissioning ESB as a warship was the best way forward.”
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Legal Niceties: "Navy to Commission Middle East-based Expeditionary Sea Base Lewis B. Puller as a Warship "
USNI News reports Navy to Commission Middle East-based Expeditionary Sea Base Lewis B. Puller as a Warship. I've highlighted the key phrase below: