Wednesday, January 8, 2014
The John Paul Jones will replace the cruiser USS Lake Erie, which will come to San Diego for an overhaul. The Lake Erie is expected to remain in San Diego following the maintenance work.
The Preble will replace the frigate Reuben James, which was decommissioned last year.
The Navy said it wants to provide more updated anti-missile and anti-aircraft capabilities to the surface forces in the mid-Pacific. The John Paul Jones currently has the most advanced ballistic missile defense technology in the fleet, according to the Navy.
The 505-foot John Paul Jones, with a crew of 303 sailors, was commissioned 20 years ago in San Diego and is named after the man considered the father of the American Navy. Jones was a Scotsman by birth who in 1775 volunteered his services to a then-newly founded Continental Navy.
Jones coined the phrase, "I have not yet begun to fight!'' when urged to surrender during a 1779 battle between the Bonhomme Richard, a rebuilt merchant ship given to the Americans by a French shipping magnate, and the Serapis, a British ship.
The John Paul Jones was featured prominently in the film "Battleship.''
The Preble, which returned to San Diego in November from a seven-month deployment, is named for Commodore Edward Preble, who led a squadron against the Barbary pirates and later formed the officer corps that led the U.S. Navy in the war of 1812.
The Lake Erie honors the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813, in which Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry defeated a British fleet during the War of 1812.