Royal Australian Navy Change of Command
Vice Admiral Tim Barrett formally ended his term as Chief of Navy during a handover ceremony at Blamey Square in Canberra today, with an honour guard and fly past in his honour.
CAPTION: Outgoing Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett hands the ‘weight’ of command of the Royal Australian Navy to Vice Admiral Michael Noonan during a ceremony in Canberra. Photo by Able Seaman James McDougall.
Several hundred Navy personnel from across the region braved a blustery Canberra morning to attend the ceremony.
Vice Admiral Barrett told the gathering, his time as Chief had seen significant change to the Royal Australian Navy, thanks to hard work and dedication by Navy members.
“The considerable successes that Navy has enjoyed during my tenure is due to that important and valuable work undertaken by uniformed and civilian people ashore as much as they are due to the outstanding efforts of our sailors and officers both at sea and ashore, whether permanent or reserve,” he said.
“Our people are more resilient and innovative, and they are getting the job done safely.
“Our workforce better reflects the diversity of the Australian community, demonstrating a bias for action, and seeking to continuously improve to way we do business.
“And, despite some reports, the vast majority are upholding Navy’s Values and living Navy’s signature behaviours, on duty and off duty, in uniform or out of it, at sea and ashore.”
Vice Admiral Barrett’s time as Chief of Navy has indeed been one of significant change.
He has guided the decisions to acquire the offshore patrol vessels, Navy’s next generation of replenishment ships, future submarines, and the Hunter-class frigates along with the associated infrastructure investments.
Vice Admiral Barrett has also overseen the introduction into service of the Landing Helicopter Docks HMA Ships Canberra and Adelaide, the MH60R Seahawk helicopters, and the first of Navy’s new destroyers, HMAS Hobart.
These new capabilities, combined with Navy-wide reforms driven by Plan Pelorus, have enabled Navy to generate and deploy maritime task groups capable of accomplishing the full spectrum of maritime security operations.
Incoming Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan told the gathering that history would consider Vice Admiral Barrett to be the father of Australia’s 21st century Navy.
“His commitment and dedication has been both extraordinary and selfless and, over the last four years as the Chief of Navy, he has set our Navy on a new course,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.
Vice Admiral Noonan told the gathering, he intended to lead a Navy that was operationally ready, thanks to committed, well-trained men and women, capable of deploying nationally, regionally and internationally in support of Australia’s national interests, during uncertain times.
“To achieve these outcomes we need to think like a fighting navy, and fight like a thinking navy,” he said.
Following the formal speeches, Vice Admiral Barrett’s flag was hauled down and Vice Admiral Noonan’s flag raised, followed by a flypast by members of the Fleet Air Arm paying tribute to Navy’s most senior aviator as Vice Admiral Barrett formally ‘passed the weight’ to his successor.
Finally, it was time for the Barrett family to depart.
They left the parade ground in a 1976 Rolls Royce – made the year Vice Admiral Barrett joined the Royal Australian Navy, and hired through contributions made by the many sailors and officers who have had the privilege of working alongside him during his long and successful career.
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