GROTON, CONN. — The Navy’s submarine base in Groton welcomed a new commanding officer Friday as it said goodbye to the man who led the base longer than any of his predecessors.
Capt. Carl Lahti was sworn in during a ceremony at the base. He succeeds Capt. Marc Denno, who had been commander since June 2009.
Groton hosts 15 attack submarines and is the nation’s first submarine base. During Denno’s tenure, the base undertook infrastructure projects and improvements worth close to $200 million.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the guest speaker, said Denno and his team had led the effort to modernize the base, which the state has supported with an $11 million investment, so far.
“We have been blessed to have your service here in the state of Connecticut over the past four years,” Malloy told Denno, The Day of New London reported.
Denno is leaving for a position on the staff of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.
During his speech, Denno focused on the community organizations and people who champion the base. He said that although he’s leaving, the base will “continue as a beacon of service and support to our Navy’s fleet, their fighters and families.”
“I feel privileged to help the light burn brightly for four wonderful years,” he said.
Lahti, is a Buffalo, N.Y., native who comes to Groton after serving at the Pentagon. He also served previously on the submarines USS Miami, USS Dallas and USS Memphis.
On Friday, he told the officers and sailors in the audience, “I look forward to leading you and our nation’s first and finest submarine base as we meet the challenges that lay ahead.”