Two guided-missile destroyers will arrive at their new home port of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam this week – the USS Preble (DDG 88) is expected to pull in at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 14, and the USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) plans to arrive at 10 a.m. on Aug. 15.
The John Paul Jones is an exchange for the former locally based guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70), which will depart for an extended docking ship repair in San Diego in the near future. Lake Erie will remain homeported out of San Diego once repairs are complete.
John Paul Jones brings updated advanced Aegis capabilities to the surface group, and will replace Lake Erie here as a rotational Ballistic Missile Defense deployer and testing ship as part of a long-range U.S. commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
The Preble is arriving from San Diego to replace the USS Reuben James (FFG 57), which was decommissioned in July 2013, as a MIDPAC surface combatant. As a Flight 2A destroyer, the Preble can embark helicopters to provide more robust response when it deploys.
Cmdr. Robert T. Bryans, Jr., commanding officer of the Preble, said the homeport shift will allow his ship to provide increased security and a greater forward presence in the Pacific Ocean.
Cmdr. Andrew Thomson, the John Paul Jones commanding officer, said his crew has proven that they are ready to assume the role as the Navy’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense test ship. In the coming years, the ship is expected to test newer and more advanced systems that will be used to defend the nation and allied forces overseas, Thomson said.
Both ships provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the sea and assist in humanitarian/disaster responses in support of Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.