SAN DIEGO – USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) successfully completed Combat Systems Ship Qualifications Trials (CSSQT), Sept. 7 after three weeks at sea.
During the first week of CSSQT, the ship tested its anti-submarine warfare equipment and fired six exercise torpedoes.
“CSSQT was a great opportunity to do what we have been training to do, and being part of the live firing of torpedoes was a great experience,” said Sonar Technician 2nd Class Alphonso Simmons.
Additionally, Lake Chaplain worked with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78 Blue Hawks in a Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) prosecution of an Expendable Mobile Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Target (EMATT) used to simulate a submarine. During the exercise the helicopter dropped sonobuoys (sensors) into the water that located the EMATT and sent the data back to the ship to be processed.
“It was great to see junior sailors actively engaging in all aspects of sonar training,” said Simmons. “It shows that all accomplishments are a reflection of great teamwork and cooperation among Sailors, officers, and tech reps.”
Throughout the second week of CSSQT the ship conducted numerous surface-firing exercises testing the “Mk 45 Mod 4” 5-inch Gun and “Phalanx Block 1B Close-in Weapon System” (CIWS).
“CSSQT was a great learning experience for all warfare areas from booms, pings, and splashes,” said Operational Specialist 3rd Class Brian Mills referring to the air, surface, and subsurface warfare areas.
In addition testing surface and subsurface firing systems, the ship completed its Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS) certification. The NSFS team conducted live fire support for Marines during simulated missions called in from San Clemente Island.
“The NSFS certification was something we put a lot of time training for because of the precision and quickness needed to support Marines on the ground successfully,” said Mills. “It was an amazing experience receiving a real-time war-fighting effect throughout the certification.”
During the final week of CSSQT the ship shot nine standard missiles in a series of air defense exercises. For most Sailors on board Lake Champlain, it was the first time experiencing a missile firing.