USS John Paul Jones
In Harms Way


USS John Paul JonesUSS JOHN PAUL JONES (DDG-53) is a multi-mission guided missile destroyer designed to operate independently, or as unit of a Carrier or Expeditionary Strike Group or a Missile Defense Action Group in multi-threat environments that include air, surface, and subsurface threats. She will respond to low intensity conflict, coastal and littoral offshore warfare as well as open ocean conflict providing or augmenting power projection, forward presence requirements, and escort operations at sea. Recently, JPJ has been updated with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capability to engage ballistic missiles with the SM-3 missile. This system provides the capability for long-range surveillance, tracking and engagement of ballistic missiles. Aegis BMD is the main sea-based component of the U.S. National Ballistic Missile Defense system.

In order to successfully conduct this mission, JOHN PAUL JONES has been fitted with the latest weapons, sensors, command-control-communications, engineering, and damage control systems. The AEGIS Weapons system is the most advanced air defense network in the world and is capable of conducting both offensive and defensive operations using Tomahawk and Harpoon cruise missiles, Standard missiles, Close-In Weapons System, rocket launched torpedoes and 5 inch (127 mm) and crew served guns. The ship is also fitted with an integrated chemical, biological and radiological defense system to protect the ship and crew in these threatening environments.


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For more detailed history of John Paul Jones visit the Navy Archive page at


USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) is the third Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer and the first ship of the class homeported on the West Coast. She was laid down on 8 August 1990 and commissioned on 18 December 1993 in San Diego, CA. On 7 October 2001, John Paul Jones launched the first Tomahawk missiles into Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In 2007, John Paul Jones, assigned to Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, participated in Valiant Shield, a joint military exercise in the Pacific Ocean.

In 2008, John Paul Jones participated in an Expeditionary Strike Force with the Essex (LHD 2) Expeditionary Strike Group. The Expeditionary Strike Force exercise was designed to test the ability of the Strike Groups to plan and conduct multi-task force operations across a broad spectrum of naval disciplines.

On 24 November 2009, the guided-missile destroyer John Paul Jones returned to San Diego after an independent seven-month deployment to the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility in the Arabian Gulf.

In June 2010, John Paul Jones began a ten month yard period during which her machinery control system and many Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical (HM&E) systems were upgraded. This was a first in-class effort, similar to the mid-life upgrade undertaken on the Ticonderoga-class Cruiser hull.

On 29 November 2011, John Paul Jones was the first ship to deploy after receiving the DDG Modification (HM&E) upgrade.

In 2012, John Paul Jones commenced a year-long revolutionary DDG Modernization effort to produce the Navy’s first Integrated Air Missile Defense (IAMD) Destroyer. These updates included renovation of the Anti-Submarine Warfare suite, the modernization of the MK34 Gun Weapon System, the installation of the Cooperative Engagement Capability system, and the largest overhaul and modernization ever attempted on an in-service MK41 Vertical Launching System.

As the Navy’s designated missile defense test ship, on 20 June 2014, John Paul Jones executed the longest range surface to air intercept in naval history, successfully engaging a target with a Standard Missile (SM) 6 – a record that still stands today.

In 2014, John Paul Jones executed a change of home port from Naval Base San Diego to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

In June 2015, John Paul Jones executed Multi-Mission Warfare Live Fire “Stellar War Axe" which demonstrated successful intercepts of both a short-range ballistic missile and a cruise missile targets using SM-6 Dual I and SM-2 Block IV missiles.

In October 2015, John Paul Jones conducted Flight Test Operational-02 Event 2 (FTO-02 E2) "Campaign Fierce Sentry," an operational test to validate the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Aegis Baseline 9.C1 Systems ability to respond against multiple ballistic missile and anti-air threats.

In January 2016, John Paul Jones conducted Tactical Demonstration-1 (TACDEMO-1) – the first over-the-horizon surface-to-surface engagement capability demonstration with an SM-6 missile.

In June 2016, John Paul Jones participated in Exercise “Pacific Dragon,” alongside the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and the Republic of Korea Navy. This biennial and trilateral BMD tracking event focused on improving coordination for detecting, tracking, and reporting ballistic targets.

In December 2016, John Paul Jones conducted Flight Test Standard Missile-27 (FTM-27) “Stellar Crossbow,” the first successful demonstration of Aegis Baseline 9.C1 capability to engage a complex medium-range ballistic missile target with a dual-salvo of SM-6 Dual I missiles.

In January 2017, John Paul Jones conducted SM-3 Block IIA Cooperative Development (SCD) Project Flight Test Maritime-01 (SFTM-01) Live Fire “Stellar Fujin.” The SCD Project is a joint developmental project between Japan and the United States that produced the newest version of the SM-3. The event was the first shipboard launch and intercept using the SM-3 Blk IIA interceptor and the first successful BMD intercept using Aegis Baseline 9.C2.

In August 2017, John Paul Jones conducted Flight Test Standard Missile-27 Event 2 (FTM-27 E2), successfully demonstrating an upgraded Aegis Baseline 9.C2 capability to engage a highly complex medium-range ballistic missile target with a dual-salvo of SM-6 Dual I missiles.

In September 2017, John Paul Jones entered an extended Selected Restricted Availability to conduct repairs and system upgrades.

In January 2019, John Paul Jones successfully completed Contractor and Type Commander Sea Trials before entering the Basic Phase.

In March 2019, John Paul Jones participated in Flight Test Ground-Based Interceptor-11 (FTG-11), demonstrating a Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) dual-salvo engagement against an ICBM.




 Unit Crest

USS John Paul Jones Crest
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