US Navy retires USS Lake Champlain after 35 years of service

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), the 11th ship of its class, was decommissioned after more than 35 years of naval service during a ceremony at Naval Base San Diego, on 1 September.

US Navy

Lake Champlain maintained a crew of 40 officers, 31 chiefs and 300 enlisted Sailors, and never changed homeports from San Diego.

The ship was built in Pascagoula, Mississippi, by Ingalls Shipyard Company and commissioned Aug. 12, 1988, in Manhattan, New York City, New York.

Lake Champlain’s rich deployment history spans three and a half decades. With its first deployment beginning in 1989, the ship completed 17 major deployments.

Through the course of its distinguished service, Lake Champlain supported Operations Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch, Global War on Terrorism, Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the North Arabian Gulf (NAG), and counter piracy operations and was awarded 11 Battle Effectiveness (Battle “E”) Awards, three Navy Unit Commendations, and two Meritorious Unit Commendations.

In 1993 Lake Champlain seized over 7-tons of cocaine, after intercepting Mexican vessel Oso IV, during counter-drug Operation Tidal Wave in the eastern Pacific.

On Sept. 11, 1814, Brigadier General Alexander Macomb and his troops defended Plattsburg while Master Commandant Thomas MacDonough and his ships defended Lake Champlain from the converging British forces. The defense of Plattsburg and Lake Champlain solidified the American advantage and withheld British territorial gains.

Lake Champlain’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Steven M. Foley reflected on the service of his crew and those who came before.

“It truly has been my honor and privilege to have served as Lake Champlain’s 19th and final commanding officer,” said Foley.

“I served before on this fine warship as a chief and senior chief and was also selected as an officer. CHAMP built a reputation on the waterfront for bringing out the best in her Sailors, just like she did in me.”