USS Lake Champlain
Ingenuity - Daring - Discipline
PACIFIC OCEAN (March 27, 2015) - Guests on board the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) watch an SH-60S flight demonstration from the forecastle during the ship's Friends and Family Day Cruise, March 27. (U.S. Navy photo by Personnel Specialist 2nd Class Nhan Nguyen)
By ENS Michael V. Schiavone
SAN DIEGO, CA — The officers and crew of the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) hosted more than 250 friends and family members for a day cruise off the coast of Southern California, March 27.

Lake Champlain hosted this special cruise for the friends and to showcase the pride and professionalism of the ship’s recent Battle Effectiveness (Battle “E”) Award winning crew.

This year’s cruise was an event that would be remembered by all in attendance. After getting underway, guests experienced a professionally narrated harbor cruise during the outbound transit of San Diego harbor.

Once out to sea, guests received a special exhibition of Lake Champlain’s firepower with a demonstration of the 5-inch guns. For lunch, the ship’s food service division hosted a steel beach picnic on the flight deck which was followed by a flight demonstration by an SH-60S Seahawk helicopter from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3 and an AV-8B Harrier jet from Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 161 (Reinforced).

“I had the opportunity to be on the bridge while the 5-inch guns were fired,” said Kurt Sorys, a family member from Omaha, Nebraska. “I was very impressed with the coordinated effort required to maneuver the ship, clear the area, then direct and fire the gun… overall I had a great time.”

“The friends and family cruise was made possible by the tireless efforts of the crew,” said Lt. Travis Coffey, the ship’s chaplain. “Their hard work prepared a way for us to host our friends and family members and demonstrate how USS Lake Champlain can be where it matters, when it matters, and is the best surface warship on the waterfront.”

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