SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) concluded sea trials, March 4, marking the completion of the first phase of the DDG Modernization (DDG MOD) upgrade.
John Paul Jones is the first ship in the Arleigh Burke class to receive this package, setting the pace for all future forward and backward fits, into the remainder of the destroyer class. After returning to homeport, Cmdr. Chris Cegielski, USS John Paul Jones commanding officer, said he was impressed with the results of the nine-month availability.
"It's been a long road, but the combined hard work of the ship's crew and our maintenance team, has delivered an incredible product," Cegielski said.
The DDG Modernization program serves to ensure these ships reach their expected service life and to modernize their combat capability to maintain their warfighting superiority. The modernization process employs a two-phased approach. One availability addresses hull, mechanical & electrical (HM&E) areas, and a second availability involves updating combat systems.
John Paul Jones amassed more than 70 SHIPALTs (ship alterations), 35 of which were executed for the first time. More than five miles of copper cable was removed from the ship and replaced with nearly seven miles of fiber optic cable, which composes the backbone for information sharing throughout the ship.
The mechanical portion of the first availability modified the control systems of the engineering plant while leaving the heart of the engineering plant intact.
The core of the Single Central Control Station (CCS) watchstander modification is centered around the addition of a state of the art machinery control system (MCS). MCS is a nodeless system designed to make the entire engineering plant interoperable, adding the ability to stand any watchstation in any main space, while reducing the number of watchstanders in CCS from four to two.
The introduction of Universal Control Consoles (UCCs) in both CCS and Main Engine Rooms (MER) one and two, allows the engineering watch team to monitor and control propulsion, electrical and auxiliary capabilities from either a single UCC or any combination of two.
"With the addition of TIWS to the new MCS hardware and software, I can conduct casualty control training on a simulated hot plant, saving both fuel, and wear and tear on my gear" Lt. Ryan Conole, USS John Paul Jones chief engineer.
Twenty-four remotely controlled cameras were installed throughout the engineering plant which can be monitored at 11 consoles in various spaces, making it possible to quickly locate and identify casualties remotely, before sending personnel into potentially hazardous situations.
Although the focus was on HM&E, two major renovations were made elsewhere on the ship which have a significant impact on daily operations. The galley was completely renovated with state of the art equipment.
"This isn't your father's galley" Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Nicholas Konieczny said. "The deep fat fryer is gone, so we need to rename French fries."
The new galley provides for faster cooking, increased capacity, reduced clean-up times, and improved reliability along with self diagnostics.
The bridge was also completely modernized, making way for the Single Bridge Watchstander Modification. The heart of this modification features the Integrated Bridge Navigation System (IBNS) which brings together electronic navigation, radar and Automated Information System (AIS) into one composite picture, literally at the fingertips of the Officer of the Deck (OOD).
"IBNS is definitely the way of the future," said Ensign Elizabeth Vollmer, who is one of the officers who stands OOD while the ship is underway. "Its touch-screen displays are very operator-friendly and provide instant access to any information I may need while on watch."
Additionally, IBNS allows for a reduction in the number of watchstanders on the bridge from five to three and provides ship handling training aboard ship, where practical training was once only found ashore at shore-based training sites.
"With the addition of the Helm Forward Station, I can hold training for bridge teams without getting underway or even leaving the ship," Lt. Sara Knitt, USS John Paul Jones navigation officer. "If we want to practice pulling into a port or conning alongside an oiler, I can program that on one side of the bridge while the other side maintains the real-world picture underway."
USS John Paul Jones is assigned to Destroyer Squadron Twenty Three, "The Little Beavers" and Carrier Strike Group Eleven. The ship is currently undergoing unit level training in preparation for deployment later this year, which will be followed by the Combat Systems portion of DDG MOD beginning in the summer of 2012.
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