SAN DIEGO—The officers and crew of the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) returned home this weekend after participating in RIMPAC 2014, the world’s largest multi-national naval exercise.
RIMPAC, short for Rim of the Pacific, began in 1971 and is held every other year off the coast of Hawaii. This year, 22 nations sent 49 ships, six submarines, over 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel to participate in the exercise.
Sailors on board Lake Champlain were given a unique opportunity to experience operating in a complex maritime environment and had the opportunity to help foster and sustain cooperative relations with many maritime nations of the Pacific.
While in port at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Sailors competed in various sporting events against many of the participating nations. In the bench press event, Lake Champlain’s own Gunner’s Mate Seaman Skyler Collins won first place among more than 100 competitors.
Crew members also took time out of their busy schedules to participate in community service projects around Oahu. Several crew members volunteered at Seagull Adult Care Center leading morning exercises and spending time with the residents.
The following week, Sailors from Lake Champlain participated in a cleanup of the Hawaiian Heritage Archeological Park and landscaped a historical burial vault.
After a weeklong in-port phase consisting of briefs, meetings, and receptions, the ships set out to sea for the underway phase of RIMPAC. The first two weeks of the RIMPAC consisted of a wide range of events including gunnery exercises, submarine tracking exercises, and air defense exercises. Following a short break from exercises to take a group photo, RIMPAC moved into a five day war at sea scenario.
Lake Champlain was assigned as one of the opposition forces during the war at sea phase of RIMPAC. This phase provided all participating ships, aircraft, and submarines an opportunity to flex their war fighting tactics in a complex joint and combined scenario.