SAN DIEGO – The Aegis guided-missile destroyer, USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), departed Naval Base San Diego Nov. 29, for an independent seven-month deployment to the 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).
The first ship to complete the DDG Modernization (DDGMOD) midlife hull, mechanical, and electrical upgrade, John Paul Jones is a hallmark of both the platform and a successful maintenance program.
The DDGMOD upgrade consisted of extensive changes through every compartment of the ship. Beginning in the spring of 2010, the local maintenance community and numerous contractors worked together with the ship’s crew to install more than 70 ship alterations, 35 of which had never been done before.
The engineering plant was remodeled around a new machinery control system (MCS), an interoperable computer design that expands the resources available to any given watch stander, reduces manning requirements, improves reliability, and cuts costs. The MCS software is accessible to the engineering watch team at any of the four universal control consoles, each of which are capable of monitoring and controlling every facet of plant operation. With MCS, the engineering officer of the watch has an unparalleled ability to run the plant and respond to emergencies.
On the bridge, surface search radar and electronic navigational charts were brought together as part of the new Integrated Bridge Navigation System. Older displays and helm controls were miniaturized and modernized into touch-screen LCD display with digital readouts. A built-in training system even allows the bridge team to simulate otherwise dangerous or difficult evolutions from the safety of home port. Within months of the install, John Paul Jones demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of the upgrade, earning a navigation certification without the use of paper charts.
After initial testing of the new installations, John Paul Jones demonstrated advances in her design, during multiple unit and strike group level exercises.
“I appreciate all of the hard work and dedication of the entire maintenance team, Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and South West Regional Maintenance Center, which went into making DDG MOD a successful reality,” said Cmdr. Christopher Cegielski, commanding officer of John Paul Jones. “But more so, my hat is off to the crew of this warship, enabling her to be in a position to sail on time with all its certifications under a very challenging, compacted cycle.”
The ship and its crew are now deploying to put these new capabilities to the test. Upon return, John Paul Jones will undergo the combat systems and weapons portion of DDGMOD, to include the most state-of-the-art advances in radar, sonar, and missile guidance systems to project American presence and fight the battles of the 21st century.
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