Amphibious assurance honoured

Published on LEUT Andrew Ragless (author)

Topic(s): Australia Day Honours, Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD)

Commander Richard Westoby briefs troops before conducting M1A1 Abrams battle tank trials onboard HMAS Adelaide. (photo: POIS Paul Mccallum)
Commander Richard Westoby briefs troops before conducting M1A1 Abrams battle tank trials onboard HMAS Adelaide.

Former Royal Marine, Commander Richard Westoby has received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for meritorious service in the field of amphibious warfare development.

His perseverance has had a direct impact on the development of Australia’s amphibious capability, ensuring the Canberra class amphibious ships are safe, environmentally compliant and fit for purpose.

Commander Westoby said he was stunned and surprised to be singled out.

“This award reflects the achievements of a small dedicated group of very committed individuals over a long period of time,” Commander Westoby said.

“We have produced remarkable results as a team, of which I am but one person.”

Commander Westoby distinguished himself during a range of postings, predominately as Operational Test Director in the Royal Australian Navy Test, Evaluation and Acceptance Authority.

The Authority is responsible for providing reliable and independent advice on new capabilities being offered for acceptance into the Navy.

“The manning, training and facilities for the Canberra class were on a scale not seen by most of the Navy’s current generation,” Commander Westoby said.

“These ships allow us to project power in new ways, bringing a new dimension to the Australian Defence Force. They are truly a tri-service platform and an incredible amphibious capability.”

Commander Westoby was recruited into the Royal Australian Navy from the Royal Marines in 2004 because of his specialised amphibious background.

“I’m proud to have played a part in enabling the truly meteoritic rise in the Australian amphibious capability,” Commander Westoby said.

“It is nice to be recognised and this award is dedicated to my wife and family. Without their support, like all service personnel, I could not achieve the commitment and dedication required for such a long and complicated task.”