New CO takes the weight at Stirling

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), POIS Yuri Ramsey (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Stirling, WA

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling

Captain Brian Delamont, RAN (left) hands Command of HMAS Stirling to Captain Ainsley Morthorpe, CSM, RAN (right). As part of the handover ceremony, the two Captains exchanged a weight, symbolising the 'weight of command'. (photo: POIS Yuri Ramsey)
Captain Brian Delamont, RAN (left) hands Command of HMAS Stirling to Captain Ainsley Morthorpe, CSM, RAN (right). As part of the handover ceremony, the two Captains exchanged a weight, symbolising the 'weight of command'.

HMAS Stirling has had a change at the top as former Commanding Officer Captain Brian Delamont handed over the reins of Navy’s largest base to Captain Ainsley Morthorpe on the first day of February.

In keeping with his passion for adventure training, Captain Delamont was rowed ashore from Captain’s Landing on a ‘mega’ stand-up paddle board, escorted by a flotilla of kayaks and paddle boarders.

Captain Morthorpe, whose most recent posting was Director of Navy Security and Police, said he was excited by the prospect of three years at the helm of HMAS Stirling.

“We have a broad range of dedicated Defence members, APS staff and associated contractors who are all part of the Stirling team, and I am proud to be associated with you all,” he said in an address to the Ship’s Company.

“Captain Delamont has left an impressive legacy here at Stirling and it is my intention to work with all members, APS staff and contractors to continue that excellent work.”

Captain Morthorpe joined the Navy in 1986 and, after graduating from the inaugural class at the Australian Defence Force Academy, went on to serve as Officer of the Watch in destroyers, landing craft, frigates and mine-hunters.

He specialised as a Mine Warfare Officer and later qualified as a Principal Warfare Officer, before assuming command of HMA Ships Fremantle, and later, Success.

Captain Morthorpe, who has also served as Commanding Officer of the shore base HMAS Coonawarra, said being given command of a Navy establishment or ship was a great privilege and one he enjoyed immensely.

“I consider command in the Royal Australian Navy as my career highlight, and I can think of no better type of work,” he said.