Honoring the Service of Captain Carl A. Lahtiby Representative Joe Courtney
Posted on 2015-12-11
in the house of representatives
Friday, December 11, 2015
Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Captain Carl Lahti,
United States Navy, as he concludes his service as the 50th Commanding
Officer of Naval Submarine Base New London. On behalf of southeastern
Connecticut, I thank Captain Lahti for his service, his leadership and
his friendship to our region.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Captain Lahti graduated from the Naval Academy in 1989 and went on to serve in a number of capacities throughout the Submarine Force at sea and on shore. It was during his tour as Commanding Officer of U.S. Naval Submarine Base New London, however, that I got the chance to work closely with Captain Lahti. In a region that follows developments on the base like a box score, Captain Lahti's two and a half-year tour at the base was distinguished [[Page E1781]] by a focus on the fundamentals of supporting the submarine force, a focus on the vitality and viability of the base, and deepening the connections between the base and its host community and state.
Under Captain Lahti's leadership the base undertook over $36 million in major infrastructure projects and capital investment to improve the base's operational infrastructure and the quality of life for sailors and their families. Most notably, Captain Lahti led the preparations to return a new flag officer to SUBASE with the establishment of the new Undersea Warfighting Development Center. And, working closely with the State of Connecticut, Captain Lahti deepened the innovative relationship between the base and its host state through collaborative investment in new projects to improve the operations, training and security at the base.
Beyond the nuts and bolts of base infrastructure, Captain Lahti prioritized efforts to deepen the connection between the installations and the surrounding community. Under his watch, the base community contributed thousands of community service volunteer hours in the region in local schools and organizations. And Captain Lahti was instrumental in broader regional events such as the highly successful Coast Guard Birthday Salute event in August 2015.
Captain Lahti was a fixture in the southeastern Connecticut community during his tenure at SUBASE New London, and the base was rightfully honored under his leadership. It is no wonder then that SUBASE New London was selected by the Mystic Chamber of Commerce as Southeastern Connecticut's ``Employer of the Year.'' In addition, Captain Lahti's leadership led SUBASE New London to earn the SECNAV Energy Gold Award, Galley 5-star Award, and the CNO Environmental Restoration Award.
As you might imagine, a close working relationship with the Commanding Officer of the base is a prerequisite for anyone representing eastern Connecticut in Congress. However, I consider myself privileged to have worked so closely with Captain Lahti not just in his capacity as a Navy officer, but as a friend. He and his team have never been more than a phone call or email away, and the connection between his office and mine has been nothing short of a two- way street. I am grateful for his time, his advice, his counsel and most of all, his unflagging commitment to Connecticut's base and the sailors and submarines stationed at it.
Leading a major installation like SUBASE is a team effort, and no one was a more important part of Captain Lahti's team than his wife Lisa. She was actively involved in the surrounding community, attending a wide range of events for non-profit organizations, promoting charitable activities of all different stripes. Both Carl and Lisa are devoted parents to Benjamin, Nathaniel, Samuel, Abraham, Rebehka, and Katheryn, who also have been frequent guests at community events.
Mr. Speaker, I ask all my colleagues to join me in thanking Captain Lahti for his service to SUBASE New London and our nation, and in wishing him and his family, ``fair winds and following seas'' as they move on to new challenges.