[Congressional Record Volume 145, Number 143 (Wednesday, October 20, 1999)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E2145-E2146]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                            HON. IKE SKELTON

                              of missouri

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, October 20, 1999

  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and say farewell 
to an outstanding Naval Officer, Captain Thomas G. Otterbein, as he 
prepares to retire upon completion of 29 years of distinguished 
service. It is a privilege for me to honor his many outstanding 
achievements and commend him for his devotion to the Navy and our great 
  A native of Bad Axe, Michigan, Captain Otterbein is a graduate of the 
United States Naval Academy, Class of 1970. After receiving his 
commission, he completed flight training and was designated a Naval 
Aviator in 1973. His first operational tour was with Fighter Squadron 
111 flying the F-4 Phantom II, where he made deployments to the 
Mediterranean Sea and Western Pacific Ocean aboard USS Franklin D. 
Roosevelt (CV-42) and USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) respectively. Upon 
completion of F-14 Tomcat training, his next sea tour was with Fighter 
Squadron 51, where he made an around the world cruise aboard USS Carl 
Vinson (CVN-70). In recognition of his superior aeronautical skills and 
leadership abilities, Captain Otterbein was selected for F/A-18 Hornet 
training and subsequently became the Executive Officer of Fighter 
Squadrons 161 aboard USS Midway (CV-41). Following that tour, he was 
the Executive Officer of Fighter Squadron 195 and had command of that 
squadron for eighteen months.
  Captain Otterbein successfully completed Nuclear Power Training and 
was soon back in the fleet, serving as Executive Officer of USS 
Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). He subsequently assumed command of USS 
Nashville (LPD-13) and led the ship through Operations Support/Uphold 
Democracy in Haiti, earning the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and 
Battle Efficiency ``E'' Award. The crowning achievement of his career 
came when he reported as Commanding Officer, USS Harry S Truman (CVN-
75), leading the crew of our newest aircraft carrier through her sea 
trials and initial training operations.
  Captain Otterbein completed shore assignments at Air Test and 
Evaluation Squadron 4, where he was the Operations Officer and 
Operational Test Director, and as the Executive Officer and acting 
Commanding Officer of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun). He has 
also had tours on the staff of Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. 
Atlantic Fleet as the Safety Officer and as the senior aviation 
representative on the Chief of Naval Operations' Strategic Studies 
  Captain Otterbein has been a dynamic and truly outstanding Naval 
Officer who has been a great mentor and a charismatic leader. He is a 
passionate advocate of the Sea Services and has devoted himself to 
caring for our Sailors in the Fleet and their families. His 
contributions and accomplishments will have long term benefits for both 
the Navy and the country he so proudly honors with his uniform. As 
Captain Otterbein prepares for quieter times with his wife Catherine 
Mary, I am certain that my colleagues will join me in thanking him for 
his many years of Naval service.

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