Lake Champlain departed San Diego en route to U.S. 7th Fleet, July 2, 2021. The cruiser served as air and missile defense commander for CSG 1 and the primary escort for Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). The ship executed operations alongside multinational allies as part of more than half a dozen exercises, including Large Scale Exercise 2021, Maritime Partnership Exercise 2021, Malabar 2021, Annual Exercise 2021, expeditionary strike force operations with Essex Amphibious Ready Group, and several multi-carrier operations.
“Lake Champlain maintained a high level of operational readiness throughout a complex and demanding Indo-Pacific deployment,” said Capt. Steven M. Foley, commanding officer of Lake Champlain. “I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of all of my Sailors throughout this deployment. Their dedication and sacrifice on a daily basis is impressive, and it is truly an honor and privilege to serve with them at sea.”
The ship played an integral role in the first Indo-Pacific deployment with the “Air Wing of the Future.” Serving as air and missile defense commander, Lake Champlain conducted multiple South China Sea presence operations, supporting the Navy’s mission of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Lake Champlain’s hangar bay housed Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78 and supported deck landing qualifications for Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 4, embarked aboard Carl Vinson, and joint helicopter training from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Royal Australian navy. Additionally, Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 2, embarked on Carl Vinson, conducted multiple fast-rope and helicopter recovery drills aboard Lake Champlain.
The ship conducted more than 40 underway replenishments. Operating weekly with Commander Task Force 73 to conduct replenishments-at-sea with ten different Military Sealift Command ships, and fueling-at-sea evolutions with HMAS Sirius (O 266), and three FAS evolutions with Carl Vinson.
During an in-port visit to Guam, Lake Champlain Sailors exemplified their dedication to the community through the performance of two community relations projects. The projects brought Sailors and residents together to paint the interior of a community center that serves the population of Guam. Sailors also completed a beautification project at Yigo Village, the second largest village on the island.
For more information and news from Lake Champlain, visit https://facebook.com/UssLakeChamplain/ or www.dvidshub.net/unit/CSG1<http://www.dvidshub.net/unit/CSG1>.
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