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PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) completed ballistic missile defense (BMD) certification, April 5, off the coast of Southern California in preparation for deployment.
USS Lake Erie Certifies, Prepares to Deploy

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) completed ballistic missile defense (BMD) certification, April 5, off the coast of Southern California in preparation for deployment.

The goal of BMD is to use surveillance and interception techniques to defend the U.S. and allied countries from ballistic missiles.

"These teams have been training for nearly a year," said Lt. Christina Appleman, a native of China Lake, California, the BMD warfare lead. "They have come a long way and have learned to anticipate each other's movements and work smoothly. This is a very smart and talented group of Sailors."

Teams used multiple scenarios to train crew members to defend the ship and other assets, and prepare them for possible threat engagements worldwide.

"Our BMD certification builds my confidence about this deployment," said Fire Controlman 1st Class Adrianna Anderson, a native of Warner Robins, Georgia, and radar systems controller. "I am very happy about the way this team works together and how we have grown together."

BMD scenarios are evaluated in order to receive certification, and the Lake Erie team passed with flying colors.

"We are excited for Lake Erie to be operational again from a BMD perspective," said Capt. Darren McPherson, the commanding officer, from Katy, Texas. "We are also excited that BMD is becoming a mainstream capability for carrier strike groups (CSG). This added capability only improves the options in which a CSG can be utilized."

Lake Erie is underway with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group conducting a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX). COMPTUEX tests the mission readiness of the strike group as its assets perform as an integrated unit.

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