Festive greetings from Navy's most senior sailor

Published on Warrant Officer - Navy WO Martin Holzberger (author), POIS Phil Cullinan (photographer)

Location(s): Navy Headquarters, ACT

Topic(s): Navy Headquarters

 (photo: POIS Phil Cullinan)

Warrant Officer of the Navy, Martin Holzberger, wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable Christmas break and all the very best for 2016.

"During this festive season, I would like to take a moment to reflect on what has been a successful and important year for the Navy.

This year I have taken every opportunity to visit and listen to our sailors from across our fleet, shore establishments and joint units in Australia and abroad. It fills me with pride to see the highly motivated, professional and dedicated people in this organisation.

I was onboard HMAS Canberra during the recent Fleet Concentration Period, surrounded by numerous ships and submarines of our fleet, and supported by aircraft from 808 and 725 Squadrons, and was taken by how easy it is to start visualising what our Navy will soon look like.

The recapitalisation of Navy continued this year, with the launch of Hobart, the commissioning of both HMAS Adelaide and 725 Squadron, and the ongoing progress of the Anzac Upgrade Program. Equally important is the work our establishments have started in support of these new capabilities.

Witnessing the decommissioning ceremonies for HMA Ships Sydney and Tobruk and the enormous pride of both ships' companies is something I will remember for a long time. Although I am saddened by these two famous names leaving the fleet, their tremendous service to the nation for more than 30 years will not be forgotten.

The volume of work being undertaken by Navy personnel to ensure Plan Pelorus is achieved shows a firm willingness to make a difference. I have been fortunate enough to see some of the innovative work being done by people at every level, but in this short message I would particularly like to acknowledge our fleet support units' work in this area.

These units have come a long way from inception and it is only through the dedication and hard work of everyone involved, they have been able to achieve some outstanding results this year.

At the heart of Pelorus, taking us to the Navy of the future, is our people and we are seeing improvement in this fundamental capability thanks to focused work by Commodore Training and Director General Navy People staff.

Our numbers are improving, and while progress might seem slow to some of you, it is occurring, and it is occurring because of your personal efforts and initiatives, such as New Generation Navy. From what I can see, we have some remarkable young officers and sailors coming through the doors.

All those who serve in uniform know none of our achievements are possible without the support of our families and friends. Their job is equally demanding, if not harder in many cases. I thank each and every one of you who support our servicemen and women. Your support makes such a difference and I can’t thank you enough for it.

Of course, not all our ship mates will enjoy the festive season with their loved ones. I extend a special thanks to those members on duty or deployed over Christmas and New Year. Please stay safe, look after each other and we all look forward to seeing you home soon."