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John Paul Jones Proves Battle-Ready During ULTRA-S Plus

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070926-40
Release Date: 9/26/2007 6:52:00 PM

By Ensign Benjamin McCarty, USS Nimitz Public Affairs

USS JOHN PAUL JONES, At Sea (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) completed a two-week evaluation called Unit Level Training Assessment-Sustainment Plus, known as “ULTRA-S PLUS” Sept. 8-22.

ULTRA-S is a recurring assessment that is regularly conducted by the ship’s Immediate Superior in Command (ISIC) and aided by the Afloat Training Group (ATG).

The goal of ULTRA-S is to semiannually assess the ship’s ability to effectively train itself and to perform in numerous warfare areas including seamanship, navigation, air, strike, surface, and anti-submarine warfare, damage control, engineering and the Material Maintenance Management (3M) program.

The 12-day assessment included a Total Ship Survivability Exercise (TSSE), which integrated the entire crew in a complex warfighting scenario designed to fully test the ship’s ability to fight despite sustaining serious damage in a conflict.

Lt. Cmdr Shea Thompson, John Paul Jones combat systems officer, played an integral part in leading the ship through this ULTRA-S, while serving as the Integrated Training Team (ITT) coordinator.

Thompson places great emphasis on the utilization of the ship’s Watch Team Replacement Plan (WTRP) and performance of routine, focused training. He contributes the ship’s outstanding performance at ULTRA-S to motivated Sailors and critical evaluation by John Paul Jones’ training teams.

“On board John Paul Jones, the WTRP is closely monitored and covers all possible operational scenarios including routine Condition III watchstanding, Condition I general quarters and special evolutions such as Condition II for anti-submarine, surface and strike situations,” said Thompson. “The majority of the watchstanders that performed during this ULTRA did not participate in our ULTRA conducted last year, but had been identified as being key future watchstanders. Looking at our WTRP, I can show you who our ship's next generation warfighters will be a year from now."

This ULTRA-S PLUS is unique from the regular ULTRA-S assessment because it resulted in recertification of all key areas on the ship, meaning that the ship is fully battle-ready and prepared to complete another deployment. All other ULTRA-S assessments conducted by the Navy merely serve as a spot check to make sure ships are adhering to fleet standards. This certification indicates the dedication and hard work that the crew of John Paul Jones consistently exerts.

Commanded by Cmdr. Christopher Barnes, John Paul Jones departed its homeport of San Diego on a regularly-scheduled deployment April 2 with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG).

Commanded by Rear Adm. Terry Blake, the Nimitz CSG also includes embarked USS Nimitz (CVN 68) with embarked Carrier Air Wing 11 and embarked Destroyer Squadron 23; the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), the guided-missile destroyers USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS Chafee (DDG 90) and USS Pinckney (DDG 91) as well as the “Scorpions” of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49, “Easy Riders” of HSL-37 and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11, Det. 3.

The Nimitz CSG is returning home following a six-month deployment to promote peace, regional cooperation and stability in the Western Pacific and Middle East.

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