Naval District Washington holds change of command

Rear Adm. Carl A. Lahti, Commandant, Naval District Washington, left, returns a salute to Rear Adm. Michael Steffen as Vice Adm. Yancy B. Lindsey, Commander, Navy Installations Command, presides over a change of command ceremony onboard the Washington Navy Yard, June 22.

Rear Adm. Mike Steffen relieved Rear Adm. Carl Lahti as the Regional Commander for Naval District Washington (NDW) at a change of command ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard, June 22.

Steffen, a native of Bedford, Virginia, became 92nd commandant of NDW, which is headquartered at the Washington Navy Yard, the oldest continuously operated Navy installation in the country.

Steffen will also serve as deputy commander of the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region.

Lahti became the 91st commandant in 2018. During his tenure, Lahti led a workforce of more than 3,500 military and civilian personnel at seven installations encompassing 200 mission-oriented tenant commands through myriad challenges arising from fiscal constraints and a global pandemic. Additionally, he pioneered the virtual “Listen, Learn, and Lead” town hall interview series to reinforce the Chief of Naval Operations’ “Culture of Excellence” initiative, which delivered various perspectives to an audience of over 130,000 viewers since inception.

“As the Navy region commander for the National Capital Region, I have had the responsibility for a unique set of Navy installations — the Navy, and indeed the nation, would not function effectively without many of the missions that only occur here in Naval District Washington” said Lahti. “I am immensely proud of the team for never dropping any mission during the ongoing global pandemic.”

Lahti also recognized those he worked with throughout this time at NDW and praised the installation commanding officers.

“There is no doubt that the strength of the Navy and the strength of the region is in dedicated people, a strong team,” said Lahti. “I am incredibly proud of all of you. Thank you for your wise counsel, dedication, integrity, and for carrying out my vision as if it were your own. Your leadership is what makes this organization successful.”

Vice Adm. Yancy Lindsey, Commander, Navy Installations Command, awarded Lahti with the Legion of Merit for his able and dedicated leadership of NDW from June 2018 to June 2021.

Prior to reporting to NDW, Steffen was Deputy Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet. During his career, he served with Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS 4) “Black Knights”, deploying twice with Carrier Air Wing 14 (CVW 14) aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), along with four combat deployments conducting special operations in Iraq with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HCS) 4 “Redwolves” and HCS-5 “Firehawks” in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“I will tell you I’m extremely excited to be back with the shore enterprise after two years in the fleet,” said Steffen. “My time in Norfolk has given me a renewed and deep appreciation of the importance of the supporting infrastructure and customer service provided by our bases and regions.”

Steffen committed to enable the over 110 mission tenants across the region and to support their effort in preparing our forces for advanced and persistent threats.

NDW is the regional provider of common operating support to naval installations in the National Capital Region, and is responsible for efficiently delivering these support services to more than 120 mission commands located within its geographical borders. NDW encompasses more than 4,000 square miles, including the District of Columbia, the Maryland counties of Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s, and northern Virginia counties of Loudoun, Fauquier, Fairfax, Prince William, Stafford King George, Westmoreland, Arlington and the cities within their outer boundaries. The region includes such installations as Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Naval Support Activity Annapolis, and the Washington Navy Yard.