Friday the 13th is considered unlucky by some but for HMAS Cerberus 13 January was a day to herald exciting challenges as outgoing Commanding Officer Captain Stephen Bowater, handed command to Captain Tim Standen.
Cerberus, located on the Victorian Mornington Peninsula, is Navy’s largest training establishment.
Often referred to as the 'Cradle of the Navy', the establishment has 12 training faculties, and trains approximately 6,000 sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen each year in a range of courses from initial training through to intermediate and advanced courses.
The position of Commanding Officer also assumes responsibility as Training Authority - Engineering, and Senior Naval Officer – Victoria, which makes for a busy position with little down time.
Captain Bowater said there were many changes during his tenure but was leaving the establishment with many positive developments ahead.
“Cerberus is focused on supporting Navy’s capability. Navy, Army and Air Force personnel and contractors; are all here making sure that goal is met,” Captain Bowater said.
“Redevelopment funding has been increased and that will give the team the tools to continue training to the highest standards.”
Captain Bowater was the first former sailor to have taken command of Cerberus and said it was a good omen that the next Commanding Officer was also an ex-sailor.
The base is the home of the Navy's Recruit School and where much of the Navy’s trade training occurs, so both Captains have personal experience with the training undertaken.
“Captain Bowater has left some big shoes to fill. I’m proud to be taking over command and confident we will continue ensuring Navy meets its goals,” Captain Standen said.
“I’m certain that with the calibre of people I’ve met over the past few weeks here that this will be a very successful three years for us.”