In this file photo, USS Lake Erie (CG 70) arrives in Mokpo, Republic of Korea (ROK), for a port visit in March ahead of exercises with the ROK navy. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Joshua Bryce Bruns)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - The Hawaii-based Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) will return June 16, from a four-month deployment to the Western Pacific.

“While on deployment, Lake Erie leveraged her accomplishments and proficiencies on the test range and defended the homeland and our allies on multiple Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) operations,” said Lake Erie Commanding Officer Capt. John S. Banigan.

Lake Erie is expected to replace USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) this summer as a rotational BMD deployer from San Diego, as John Paul Jones takes Lake Erie’s place in Hawaii as the nation’s BMD test ship.

During port visits Lake Erie Sailors participated in several community service projects that included visiting homes for children and assisting the elderly.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming Lake Erie back to our waterfront,” said Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific Rear Adm. Rick Williams.

“Capt. Banigan and his team have made a difference. The crew of Lake Erie stepped up and filled a critical need on this deployment. They represent the epitome of the CNO’s tenets: warfighting first, operate forward, be ready. I couldn’t be prouder,” Williams added.

Lake Erie promoted peace and security, preserved freedom of the seas and conducted theater security operations with partner nations.

U.S. Navy guided-missile cruisers are multi-mission surface combatants capable of supporting carrier strike groups, amphibious readiness groups, surface action groups or operating independently.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international dateline and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.