Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan says Navy will take on a different focus in the coming months with improvements in the personnel space as well as a stronger regional presence in 2019.
In a video message to members on Compass and on Navy Social Media, Vice Admiral Noonan has forecast a busy year ahead as the Royal Australian Navy balances emerging activities with current commitments.
“We will maintain our commitment in the Middle East on Operation MANITOU and our role on Operation RESOLUTE, but there has been a very marked shift by our Government in terms of our region,” Chief of Navy said.
From February, Navy will maintain a near continuous presence in the South West Pacific, as well as what Vice Admiral Noonan has described as a ‘more robust’ presence in the region, as the Australian Defence Force works to further enhance its cooperation with regional partners.
This will include involvement in a range of international exercises and operations.
As Navy looks to increase its activities across the region, Vice Admiral Noonan said the people space was another critical area in need of attention.
“Ultimately, we’re growing Navy in order to put our new platforms to sea and we will need more people.
“I need people who are currently staying to continue to serve.
“We need to drive separation rates down and we need more people to join,” he said.
Vice Admiral Noonan continued this theme during a recent presentation to officers at the Australian Command and Staff College in Canberra.
“We are not in the business of waging war - that’s not our reason for being. But if we have to, we need to be good at it,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.
“In the meantime, we have to do everything we can to grow, understand and contribute to our national focus and our national priorities,” he said.