COMMODORE Vince Di Pietro has already had an amazing career.
He joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1976 as a trainee pilot, has flown 5000 hours in helicopters and fixed wing aircraft and holds an A1 Category Qualified Helicopter Instructor’s rating (RAF) and an A2 Category fixed wing jet and turbo-prop Qualified Flying Instructor’s rating (RAAF).
He has had instructional flying tours with the RAAFs 2 Flying Training School, as RAN exchange instructor at the RN Helicopter School, and as the RANs Central Flying School (UK) Agent and Senior Instrument Rating Examiner Helicopters.
His last operational flying appointment was as Commanding Officer HC723 Squadron from 1992-1994.
Promoted to Commander in 1994, he served in the Australian High Commission in London and on return to Australia in 1997 he was appointed Deputy Commander Australian Naval Aviation Force and Commander Aviation Operations at the Naval Air Station, Nowra.
In January 2000 he assumed command of Fleet Base West/HMAS Stirling, on promotion to Captain in January 2002, he was appointed Chief of Staff, Commander Australian Navy Aviation.
In 2003 he attended the Australian Defence College Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies, gaining a Master of Arts (Strategic Studies) and was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2007 Australia Day Honours List for outstanding achievement as Director General Navy Certification, Safety and Acceptance in Navy Systems Command from December 2003 until January 2006.
In January 2006 he was appointed as Director of Studies – Navy at the Australian Command and Staff College, and from September 2006 to February 2007 he was acting Commandant.
He was promoted to Commodore and appointed Naval Attaché Washington in June 2007.
He spent three interesting years in Washington.
“I had the last 18 months of the Bush administration and then was there for the inauguration and the first 18 months of the Obama administration,” he said.
“It was an interesting and fascinating time and I got to meet some great people.
“The US people are some of the most hospitable I have ever met and I have travelled a fair bit with this job and it is an interesting and amazing place to be.
“I also got to work with a couple of great ambassadors in Dennis Richardson and Kim Beazley.”
In July 2010 he assumed the role of Director General Navy Capability Plans and Engagement in Navy Strategic Command.