Handing over the weight in Huon

Published on LEUT Laura Watman (author), ABIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Location(s): Garden Island, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Huon (M82), Change of Command

Commander Richard Caton, RAN, passes command of HMAS Huon to Lieutenant Commander Jason Mullen, RAN, in front of Huon's ship's company at Garden Island, Sydney. (photo: ABIS Richard Cordell)
Commander Richard Caton, RAN, passes command of HMAS Huon to Lieutenant Commander Jason Mullen, RAN, in front of Huon's ship's company at Garden Island, Sydney.

Minehunter, HMAS Huon is under new management after welcoming the new Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Jason Mullen, during a handover ceremony which took place outside the Navy Heritage Centre at Garden Island, Sydney in early December.

As per tradition, the ship's company were called to a Clear Lower Deck where they were formed up to witness the significant event. As the sun shone down on the crew, Commander Richard Caton took the time to say a brief farewell.

"It is bittersweet being gathered here like this today as I would have liked the opportunity to spend more time with you all during these last few weeks, however due to the constraints of the ship being in refit this hasn't always been possible," he said.

Huon is currently undergoing an extended maintenance period whilst conducting her 24,000 hourly service of her main engine.

"Nevertheless, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on board and I hope that you will all show the same commitment and respect to the new Commanding Officer as you have to me."

Commander Caton spent just short of two years posted as Commanding Officer during which time the ship conducted two deployments to Operation RESOLUTE, Unit and Mission Readiness work up and evaluations, Sea Acceptance Trials and support to the Mine Warfare Faculty.

Lieutenant Commander Mullen was welcomed to Huon as the new Commanding Officer and expressed his interest in getting down to business in the New Year.

"I am extremely pleased and happy to be here and take Command of such a highly regarded ship and crew," he said.

"I very much look forward to next year completing the post maintenance trials and work up period so that we can once again focus on our core business."

Lieutenant Commander Mullen was then presented with his Huon cap and patch as he assumed responsibility of Command.