By Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM – The guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) will depart Hawaii Friday, Aug. 29 for a new homeport in San Diego.
USS Lake Erie was commissioned in Pearl Harbor July 24, 1993. It is the first Navy ship in modern times to be commissioned in Hawaii since the commissioning of the USS Willamette (AO 51) in 1982.
In 2006, Lake Erie conducted the first successful intercept of a ballistic missile during its terminal phase using a Standard Missile-2.
In 2008, Lake Erie made international headlines when it used a tactical missile to intercept an orbiting satellite. The inoperative satellite was considered a potential threat and was eliminated at an estimated closing velocity of 22,000 miles per hour before it could re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.
In 2013, Lake Erie utilized its fire control radar to provide tracking data to a ground-based missile interceptor, expanding U.S. missile defense capability. The ship also conducted the first live-fire intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile using space-based sensors.
Aboard the ship last year on the eve of the Battle of Lake Erie, Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, spoke about USS Lake Erie’s namesake to visiting Chinese sailors.
“This fine Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, USS Lake Erie, is named for a famous battle in the War of 1812 – a turning point that proved a strong navy, working together, can protect a nation and make commerce and trade safe…”
Williams added, “When you see the patch, ‘Don’t Give Up the Ship,’ it signifies the grit and determination of Master Commandant (Commander) Oliver Hazard Perry, who showed bravery under that pennant. Thanks to his victory, we have enjoyed generations of peace with our friends and partners.”
As a testament to readiness during the ship’s tour in Hawaii, Lake Erie earned seven Battle “E” awards in recognition of sustained superior performance in an operational environment.
Lake Erie Commanding Officer Capt. John S. Banigan expressed thanks to the community for supporting the men and women of USS Lake Erie and their families.
“The community embraced CG 70 and pulled together to enable her every achievement,” Banigan said. “The Sailors and families of Lake Erie extend a heartfelt Aloha. We will miss the beauty of the Hawaiian island chain and, more importantly, the warm friendships we leave behind. Crew Lake Erie offers one last Aloha and Mahalo!”
Lake Erie is replacing USS John Paul Jones as a rotational Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) deployer out of San Diego.
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.