The U.S. Navy Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) anchored off the coast of Lima, Peru, April 23, after completing a combined anti-submarine training exercise with Peru and Colombia.
The guided-missile cruiser participated in Silent Forces Exercise (SIFOREX) 2018, a biennial naval exercise that enabled maritime forces to practice tracking diesel submarines and other drills that promoted interoperability between the Peruvian, Colombian and U.S. navies.
Lake Champlain, an embarked MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter detachment, three P-8/A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, and one Colombian submarine participated with Peruvian ships, submarines and aircraft.
“My crew and I are absolutely thrilled to have the unique opportunity to participate in SIFOREX and visit Peru,” said Capt. Jennifer Ellinger, Lake Champlain’s commanding officer. “I participated in SIFOREX 2004 and have been very impressed by how the exercise has continued to evolve, while providing a challenging and equally rewarding training environment.”
In addition to practicing anti-submarine warfare, participants also trained in communication, joint maneuvers, maritime helicopter operations, air defense, gunnery exercises, boarding operations, and search and rescue.
Two Peruvian naval officers embarked Lake Champlain to observe the exercise and said the experience left a good impression on them.
“The crew on board, all of them are very good at the job that they have to do and each one of them knows that they are in an important event in SIFOREX,” said Lt. j.g. Jean Pierre Perez, one the embarked Peruvian officers. “They have been very kind with us, from the captain to the last enlisted man.”
Lake Champlain’s crew will enjoy a few days ashore following the exercise.
“Everyone is looking forward to experiencing the beautiful sites, rich culture, and hospitality Peru has to offer during our brief port visit,” said Ellinger.
SIFOREX began in 2001 and has continued on even years since 2004.
Prior to its mission to South America, Lake Champlain deployed as part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, which completed a historic visit to Vietnam in March.
Lake Champlain is a multi-mission platform operated by more than 360 crew members and capable of air warfare, undersea warfare, naval surface fire support, and surface warfare. The Ticonderoga-class cruiser is equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles, providing an additional long-range strike capability to the strike group, standard SM-2 surface-to-air missiles, two 5-inch dual-purpose guns, and two MH-60R helicopters.
MC1 Nathan Carpenter, USS Lake Champlain (CG 57)