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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, John Paul Jones 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.


View ship specifications and other ships in the class.

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


Logo and Crest Meaning and Symbolism 

The crest contains a portrait of John Paul Jones, the father of the American Navy. The canon represents the naval weaponry of that period. 

The shield includes dark blue and gold, which are traditionally colors associated with the Navy. The interlaced anchor and the officer and enlisted swords symbolize teamwork and sea prowess. These are placed atop the AEGIS system's octagonal shape, which highlights the modern weaponry of John Paul Jones with its advanced anti-air, surface, sub-surface and strike warfare capabilities. The white border with the thirteen black rivets represents day and night vigilance, solidity and determination. The number of rivets represent cannon balls and symbolize the thirteen colonies and the naval guns used by John Paul Jones in battle. 

The flags, on either side of the shield, were displayed by John Paul Jones on his warships. The thirteen star flag commemorates the most famous Revolutionary War naval combat when John Paul Jones captured the Serapis. The rattlesnake "Don't Tread on Me" flag reflects the temperament of the times.


USS John Paul Jones Ship History 

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. 

In January 2020, USS John Paul Jones, assigned to the NIMITZ Strike group (CSG 11) completed SWATT, GRUSAIL, and COMTUEX in preparation for their first deployment in eight years. 

USS John Paul Jones returned to her homeport following a deployment to 5th and 7th Fleets, April 30 2021. During their time in the 5th Fleet area of operations, the crew of John Paul Jones conducted maritime security operations alongside regional and coalition partners. They participated in multi-lateral exercises Nautical Defender 21 with the UK and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Iron Defender 21 with the United Arab Emirates. They provided over watch for commercial and military vessels transiting the Strait of Hormuz as part of Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel, and while operating in direct support to the Combined Maritime Forces



John Paul Jones (6 July 1747 − 18 July 1792) 

Jones was born John Paul on 6 July 1747, in Kirkcudbright, Scotland. At the age of 12 he entered the British merchant marine and went to sea for the first time as a cabin boy. 

He became first mate on a slaver brigantine in 1766, but soon left that trade in disgust. He was appointed master in 1769. In 1773, he killed the leader of his mutinous crew in self-defense at Tobago, in the West Indies. To avoid trial, he fled to Virginia and was considered a fugitive by the British. He concealed his identity by adding the surname Jones. 

At the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775, Jones went to Philadelphia and entered the Continental Navy. He was commissioned a lieutenant on the first American flagship, Alfred. Jones was quickly promoted to captain in 1776, and was given command of the sloop Providence. While on his first cruise aboard Providence, he destroyed British fisheries in Nova Scotia and captured sixteen prize British ships. 

In command of Ranger in 1777 and 1778, he operated in British home waters and made audacious raids on England’s shore. In recognition of his exploits, he was placed in command of five French and American vessels. Aboard his flagship, Bonhomme Richard, Jones led his small squadron in the capture of seven merchantmen off the Scottish coast. On 23 September 1779, Jones fought one of the bloodiest engagements in naval history with the 44-gun Royal Navy frigate Serapis. Although his own vessel was burning and sinking, Jones would not accept the British demand for surrender, replying, “I have not yet begun to fight.” More than three hours later, Serapis surrendered and Jones took command. 

According to some historians, Jones remained appealing as much for his actions as for his personality. British chapbooks, an early form of dime novels, pictured him as a ruthless marauding pirate akin to Blackbeard. His attacks on British ships were often sudden and sometimes bloody. The vision of a swarthy scalawag persisted even to the writings of Rudyard Kipling a century later. 

Thomas Jefferson and others referred to him as “little Jones” ─ he may have been 5’5”. Unlike other merchant seamen, he was well dressed, carried a sword, and conducted himself with practiced decorum. He had a Scottish brogue and light Celtic features. He was intense about his honor and his duties and was a harsh military master, but was also surprisingly sociable. He was a prolific poem and letter writer, spoke some French, and, though he never married, was involved in many romances. Above all, no one questioned his daring. In Britain, his naval actions against the mother country certainly led to his reputation as a pirate. 

In 1788, Russian Empress Catherine the Great appointed Jones rear admiral in the Russian navy, in which he saw action in the Liman campaign in the Black Sea. He left the Russian service in 1789 and moved to Paris. He was appointed U.S. Consul to Algiers but died before the commission arrived. His body was buried in Paris, but in 1905, after a lengthy search, his remarkably preserved corpse was discovered and removed from a gravesite in Paris and transported to the United States. Through the intervention of President Theodore Roosevelt, Jones’ remains were reinterred in an ornate tomb at the Naval Academy Chapel at Annapolis, Maryland, in 1913.


USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53)

Unit 100158 Box 1
FPO AP 96669-1271


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