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USS Nebraska Changes Command

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070402-09
Release Date: 4/2/2007 3:01:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Angela Grube, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Det. Northwest

KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- Cmdr. Carl Lahti relieved Cmdr. Geoffrey deBeauclair as commanding officer of USS Nebraska (SSBN 739)(Gold) on March 29, in a change of command ceremony held at the Naval Undersea Museum, here.

Capt. Charles Richard, commander, Submarine Squadron (SS) 17, attended the ceremony as the guest speaker.

“DeBeauclair took [his crew] to sea on four deterrent patrols over 300 days,” said Richard. “He did everything the Navy asked him to do. He protected his ship and his men, he executed his mission and he leaves the ship better than when he found it.”

During deBeauclair’s tour, Nebraska was awarded the Communications “C” as best communicators in the squadron in 2006 and the Damage Control (DC) and Deck Seamanship "D" in 2005. They also earned the Commander Pacific Fleet Retention Excellence Award in 2006.

“Even beyond this impressive resume, however, is the spirit aboard the ship,” said Richard. “You have to go to sea with these guys to know exactly what I’m talking about. I have and I don’t think there is anything they can’t accomplish. Their enthusiasm ranks among the best in the squadron and I’m really proud of them for that.”

During the ceremony deBeauclair received a Meritorious Service Medal, which he attributed to all those around him, including his family.

“In my house, my wife has lived her own adventure,” said deBeauclair. “She has bravely raised three young and active children in my absence, while I pursue my dreams. She managed the household, maintained the cars and paid the bills without fail.”

Before receiving his orders and departing to the Pacific Submarine Force Tactical Readiness Evaluation Team, deBeauclair wanted to make sure his crew knew he was also very proud of them.

“You are not yet the best and I don’t want you to let up until you are,” said deBeauclair to his crew. “You will only continue along this upward trend as long as you embrace an attitude, whereby you strive to do everything better than you did the last time.”

Lahti, the ship's new commanding officer, is happy for the chance to lead the crew.

“I want to thank my friends for the sacrifices they have made,” said Lahti. “I want to especially thank my children for their patience and my wife for living the life of a single parent. I am also grateful for the fast and efficient turnover and proud for the opportunity to lead the Nebraska crew."

“Many aspire to command, and the Navy is fortunate to be able to select only the best of this group,” said Richard. “[Lahti] is one of those men, and he is as well prepared as he can be to take on this tremendous responsibility.”

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