Local lad sets sail for the big gig

BON VOYAGE: Outgoing Commander Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Tim Barrett farewells Fleet Base East.

BON VOYAGE: Outgoing Commander Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Tim Barrett farewells Fleet Base East.

A PROUD Shoalhaven man is preparing to take on the top job in the Royal Australian Navy.

Fresh from being awarded an AO in the military division of the Queen’s Birthday Honours, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett has handed over command of his position as Commander Australian Fleet and will take on his role as Chief of Navy on July 1.

The former Illaroo Road Public and Bomaderry High student will also assume the rank of Vice Admiral.

After two-and-a-half years as Commander Australian Fleet he passed command to Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer.

“During my time as fleet commander, I have had the pleasure of working with dedicated professionals,” Rear Admiral Barrett said.  

“Their enthusiasm and commitment has made my job easier and together we have achieved a number of milestones.  

“In October last year, we hosted a successful International Fleet Review, which advanced the reputation of Australia in the region and across the globe.

“We also saw the introduction of the Defence Seaworthiness System, which ensures our ships are operated in a safe and regulated manner.  

“New capabilities have also progressed. In the aviation world the MRH90s have been introduced to fulfil the maritime support helicopter role and navy has taken delivery of a number of MH-60R Seahawk Romeos.

“Preparations are also advanced for the delivery of the first Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ship, which will be commissioned later this year.”

He said the fleet continued to meet government directed operations, maintaining a continued presence in the Middle East Area of Operations as part of Operation Slipper and supporting border protection functions as part of Operation Resolute. 

Following the ceremony, Rear Admiral Barrett embarked on the admiral’s barge bound for HMAS Watson and en route reviewed HMA Ships Tobruk, Parramatta, Diamantina and Newcastle which “cheered ship” as the barge sailed past. 

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