Naval Forces Japan, Navy Region Japan Change of Command

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US Naval Forces and Navy Region Japan recently held a change of command ceremony. Rear Adm. Carl Lahti, is now the 36th commander of Commander, US Naval Forces Japan (CNFJ) and Commander, Navy Region Japan (CNFJ). He took over the helm of leadership from RAdm Brian P Fort.

The change of command ceremony was presided by Lieutenant General Schneider, Commander, US Forces Japan.

Fort retired after a 32-year career in the US Navy, which included serving as commanding officer of the USS Gonzalez  and as commander, Destroyer Squadron 26. Fort commanded Navy Nuclear Power Training Unit, Ballston Spa, and served as Commander, Navy Region Hawaii/Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.

During his time as CNFJ, Fort oversaw the Navy’s response to the challenges of COVID-19 and established policies to keep Sailors, dependents, and the workforce safe and mission-ready.

In addition to setting the conditions to deploy ships COVID-free, CNFJ/CNRJ worked closely with medical authorities in vaccine distribution throughout seven installations. The result led to the highest vaccine take rate in the Navy, and approval for the US Navy to vaccinate the Japanese workforce, as well as minor dependent children aged 12 to 17.

Meanwhile RAdm Lahti’s last assignment was as 91st Commandant, Naval District Washington. He previously served as commanding officer, Naval Submarine Base New London; as Chief of Staff at Navy Installations Command; and Director, Energy, and Environmental Readiness Division.

“The work that is being done out here, and the relationships you have maintained with a key ally are essential to maintaining the health and readiness of the force in a dynamic region,” said Lahti. “My family and I are thrilled to be here in this beautiful country, and I look forward to working with the team.”

CNFJ/CNRJ’s primary responsibility is to provide shore readiness to the Fleet, to liaison with the Japanese government, and strengthen ties with the Japan Self Defence Forces. CNRJ is responsible for the Navy installations in Atsugi, Misawa, Okinawa, Sasebo, Yokosuka, Diego Garcia, and Singapore. –shp/adj/aaa (Photo: US Navy)