USS Lake Erie to Deploy to Western Pacific

The Hawaii-based Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) will depart Feb. 18 for a Western Pacific deployment, the ship’s last while being homeported in Pearl Harbor.

My Uncle and Aunt before they got a private tour of the USS Lake Erie.

My Uncle and Aunt before they got a private tour of the USS Lake Erie.

While deployed, Lake Erie will conduct theater security operations with partner nations while providing deterrence, promoting peace and security, preserving freedom of the seas and providing humanitarian assistance/disaster response.

Upon completion of this deployment, Lake Erie is expected to replace John Paul Jones as a rotational Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) deployer out of San Diego.

PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 27, 2014) Guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) operates with other cruisers off the coast of Hawaii during Koa Kai 14-1. Koa Kai is a semiannual exercise in the waters around Hawaii designed to prepare independent deployers in multiple warfare areas and provide training in multi-ship environment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Johans Chavarro/ Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 27, 2014) Guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) operates with other cruisers off the coast of Hawaii during Koa Kai 14-1. Koa Kai is a semiannual exercise in the waters around Hawaii designed to prepare independent deployers in multiple warfare areas and provide training in multi-ship environment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Johans Chavarro/ Released)

“We are trained and ready for deployment,” said Lake Erie Commanding Officer Capt. John S. Banigan. “I am very proud of this crew and all that they have accomplished. We have an amazing team of professionals, and I have the utmost faith in their abilities. I could not ask for a better group of Sailors to go to sea alongside.”

Lake Erie Commanding Officer Capt. John S. Banigan talks to some of his crew.

Lake Erie Commanding Officer Capt. John S. Banigan talks to some of his crew.

Lake Erie is one of 11 surface ships of Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. USS Lake Erie is named in commemoration of the Battle of Lake Erie fought Sept. 10, 1813. During the pivotal engagement, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry hoisted a crudely stitched flag bearing the dying words of his friend, Capt. James Lawrence, “DONT GIVE UP THE SHIP!” That proud motto served as the battle cry that day, and continues to inspire today.

I got to tour the ship in December of 2013.

I got to tour the ship in December of 2013.

U.S. Navy guided-missile cruisers are multi-mission surface combatants capable of supporting carrier strike groups, amphibious readiness groups, surface action groups or operating independently.

Commander, U.S. Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific leads and manages the overall warfighting capability of the Surface Combatant Force homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), Hawaii to achieve the highest levels of combat readiness; to coordinate with external organizations for products and services to directly support surface combatant force mission readiness; and to support the type commanders and numbered fleet commanders in the development of surface warfare requirements, policies, programs, standards, and business practices to meet operational readiness goals.

USS John Paul Jones to Replace USS Lake Erie; USS Preble Also Moving to Hawaii

The U.S. Navy announced Jan. 7 that USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) will swap homeports with USS Lake Erie (CG 70) this summer. USS Preble (DDG 88) will also leave San Diego for Hawaii this summer to replace the decommissioned frigate USS Reuben James (FFG 57).

I got this coin a few weeks ago when I went on a tour of the USS Lake Erie

I got this coin a few weeks ago when I went on a tour of the USS Lake Erie

Moving the two guided-missile destroyers to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will provide updated, advanced Aegis capabilities to Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific (CNSGMP). It will also allow Lake Erie, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, to proceed to San Diego for a scheduled extended docking ship repair availability (EDSRA).

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Lake Erie is expected to replace John Paul Jones as a rotational Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) deployer out of San Diego once the EDSRA is complete. John Paul Jones and Preble are Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers that perform key roles in support of a carrier strike group, expeditionary strike group or surface action group. John Paul Jones is currently the most technologically advanced ship within the BMD program and will be used in that capacity to support the Navy and Missile Defense Agency testing program. Recently, the ship was updated with the latest Aegis BMD capability to engage ballistic missiles with the SM-3 missile.

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DDGs are capable of sustained combat operations supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence. These combatants operate in a network centric warfare environment and execute multi-mission tasking to include air, surface, undersea, space and cyber warfare. DDGs coordinate with units of a task group to conduct naval operations and execute the Maritime Strategy under a naval component commander.

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USS Reuben James, the last remaining guided-missile frigate homeported in Hawaii, was decommissioned July 18, 2013 after nearly 30 years of distinguished naval service.

Maintaining the most technologically advanced ships supports the United States’ commitment to the security, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

Missile Hits Another Target in Test Off Hawaii

Sailors on the cruiser USS Lake Erie scored another hit Thursday off Hawaii, intercepting a ballistic-missile target over the Pacific Ocean for the second time in about two weeks.

An SM-3 Block 1B interceptor is launched from the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) during a Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy test of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. The Lake Erie-launched missile successfully intercepted a complex short-range ballistic missile target. (U.S. Navy photo) Click to Enlarge

An SM-3 Block 1B interceptor is launched from the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) during a Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy test of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. The Lake Erie-launched missile successfully intercepted a complex short-range ballistic missile target. (U.S. Navy photo) Click to Enlarge

A Standard Missile-3 launched from the cruiser destroyed the target with its kinetic warhead, according to a Friday news release from the Missile Defense Agency. It’s the fifth-straight successful test for the Aegis ballistic-missile defense system; Lake Erie hit the mark in a Sept. 18 test, while the destroyer Decatur was part of a successful Sept. 10 test alongside an Army missile-defense system.

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It’s the 28th successful Aegis BMD test out of 34 tries, according to the MDA release. The system hasn’t missed since a joint Oct. 25, 2012, test that engaged five targets at once — sailors on the destroyer Fitzgerald hit a low-flying cruise missile, but the Aegis system’s interceptor missed its target.

Navy – Missile Defense System Completes Successful Intercept Test Off Kauai Last Night

The Missile Defense Agency and Navy sailors aboard the USS Lake Erie conducted a successful flight test of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system yesterday, Pentagon officials reported.

USS Lake Erie (CG 70) fires a Standard Missile-2 during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from Jun. 20 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise that began in 1971. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/EXW) Derek R. Sanchez/RELEASED

USS Lake Erie (CG 70) fires a Standard Missile-2 during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from Jun. 20 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise that began in 1971. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/EXW) Derek R. Sanchez/RELEASED

In the test, the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense 4.0 weapon system and a Standard Missile 3 Block IB missile intercepted a separating ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean.

A separating short-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii, and flew northwest toward a broad ocean area. The USS Lake Erie detected and tracked the missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar. The ship, equipped with the second-generation Aegis BMD weapon system, developed a fire control solution and launched the SM-3 Block IB missile.

The SM-3 maneuvered to a point in space based on guidance from Aegis BMD weapon system and released its kinetic warhead. The warhead acquired the target re-entry vehicle, diverted into its path, and, using only the force of a direct impact, engaged and destroyed the target.

Initial indications are that all components performed as designed, officials said, and program officials will assess and evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.

Last night’s event, designated Flight Test Maritime 19, was the third consecutive successful intercept test of the Aegis BMD 4.0 weapon system and the SM-3 Block IB guided missile, and the 25th successful intercept in 31 flight test attempts for the Aegis BMD program since flight testing began in 2002.

In this image provided by the US Navy a ballistic threat target missile is launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii, Saturday Nov. 1, 2008 enroute to an intercept over an open ocean area northwest of Kauai. The target missile was successfully intercepted by a Standard Missile - 3 (SM-3) launched from the Pearl Harbor-based guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton. However a second threat target missile was not successfully destroyed by the USS Hopper according to the Navy. (AP Photo/US Navy)

In this image provided by the US Navy a ballistic threat target missile is launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii, Saturday Nov. 1, 2008 enroute to an intercept over an open ocean area northwest of Kauai. The target missile was successfully intercepted by a Standard Missile – 3 (SM-3) launched from the Pearl Harbor-based guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton. However a second threat target missile was not successfully destroyed by the USS Hopper according to the Navy. (AP Photo/US Navy)

Across all Ballistic Missile Defense System programs, this is the 59th successful hit-to-kill intercept in 74 flight tests since 2001, officials said.

Aegis BMD is the naval component of the Missile Defense Agency’s Ballistic Missile Defense System. The MDA and the Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program.

Aegis Missile Defense System Intercepts Target in Test Off Kauai

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard the USS Lake Erie conducted a successful flight test of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system today, resulting in the intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean by a Standard Missile-3 Block IA guided missile.

At 4:10 a.m. EST, a unitary medium-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. The target flew northwest toward a broad area of the Pacific Ocean.

USS Lake Erie (CG 70) fires a Standard Missile-2 during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from Jun. 20 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise that began in 1971. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/EXW) Derek R. Sanchez/RELEASED

USS Lake Erie (CG 70) fires a Standard Missile-2 during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from Jun. 20 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise that began in 1971. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/EXW) Derek R. Sanchez/RELEASED Stock Photo)

The in-orbit Space Tracking and Surveillance System-Demonstrators, or STSS-D, detected and tracked the target, and forwarded track data to the USS Lake Erie. The ship, equipped with the second-generation Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system, used “Launch on Remote” doctrine to engage the target.

The ship developed a fire control solution from the STSS-D track and launched the SM-3 Block IA guided missile about five minutes after target launch. The SM-3 maneuvered to a point in space and released its kinetic warhead. The warhead acquired the target re-entry vehicle, diverted into its path, and, using only the force of a direct impact, engaged and destroyed the target.

Initial indications are that all components performed as designed, officials said. Program officials will assess and evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test, they added.

Today’s event, designated Flight Test Standard Missile-20, or FTM-20, was a demonstration of the ability of space-based assets to provide mid-course fire control quality data to an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ship, extending the battle space, providing the ability for longer-range intercepts and defense of larger areas, officials said.

FTM-20 is the 24th successful intercept in 30 flight test attempts for the Aegis BMD program since flight testing began in 2002. Across all Ballistic Missile Defense System programs, this is the 58th successful hit-to-kill intercept in 73 flight tests since 2001.

Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense is the sea-based component of the Missile Defense Agency’s Ballistic Missile Defense System. The Aegis BMD engagement capability defeats short- to intermediate-range, unitary and separating, midcourse-phase ballistic missile threats with the SM-3, as well as short-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase with the SM-2 Block IV missile.

The MDA and the Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program.