USS LEWIS B. PULLER ESB 3
The Lewis B. Puller is the second ship in the U.S. Navy to bear the name of Lt. Gen. Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller, a distinguished combat veteran of World War II and the Korean War. Puller is the only Marine to have been awarded the Navy Cross on five separate occasions and is the most decorated individual in the history of the USMC.
July 10, The Military Sealift Command ship USNS Lewis B. Puller departed Naval Station Norfolk for its first operational deployment. She will replace the forward-deployed Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (AFSB(I) 15) in Bahrain as the first ship built specifically for the purpose of serving as an afloat expeditionary sea base.
August 16, The Lewis B. Puller moored at Berth 6, Khalifa Bin Salman Port (KBSP) in Hidd, Bahrain, for the first time.
August 17, USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB 3) was redesignated into a commissioned warship USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) during a 5 p.m. ceremony aboard the ship at KBSP, Bahrain. Capt. Adan G. Cruz is the first commanding officer and will lead a hybrid crew of U.S. Navy Sailors and civilian mariners.
August 25, The Lewis B. Puller departed Khalifa Bin Salman Port to participate in a multilateral amphibious exercise Alligator Dagger 17-2, off the coast of Djibouti; Participated in a photo exercise (PHOTOEX) in the Gulf of Aden, with the USS America (LHA 6), USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) and USS Howard (DDG 83), on Sept. 16; Anchored off Sitra, Bahrain, from Sept. 30- Oct. ?.
October 11, Capt. Joseph D. Femino (Blue Crew) assumed command of the USS Lewis B. Puller during a crew exchange ceremony aboard the ship at Berth 6, KBSP.
October 19, USS Lewis B. Puller moored at Berth 5, Khalifa Bin Salman Port after a two-day underway for routine training; Underway in support of amphibious exercise Alligator Dagger 17-3, off the coast of Djibouti, on Dec. ?.
December 14, The Lewis B. Puler participated in a PHOTOEX with the FS Tonnerre (L9014) and FS Chevalier Paul (D621), while underway in the Gulf of Aden; Transited the Strait of Hormuz northbound on Dec. 30; Anchored off Sitra, Bahrain, from Dec. 31- Jan. ?.