Tobruk sailing with new CO

Published on LEUT Ryan Zerbe (author), LAC David Cotton (photographer)

Topic(s): Change of Command, Exercise PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP, HMAS Tobruk (II)

Departing Commanding Officer of HMAS Tobruk, Commander Tim Watson (left) hands over the ship's engine keys and the responsibility of command to Commander Leif Maxfield. (photo: LAC David Cotton)
Departing Commanding Officer of HMAS Tobruk, Commander Tim Watson (left) hands over the ship's engine keys and the responsibility of command to Commander Leif Maxfield.

Commander Leif Maxfield has assumed command of HMAS Tobruk, relieving Commander Tim Watson while the ship stopped over in Townsville on 7 June 2013.

Commander Maxfield will lead the ship as it sails towards Papua New Guinea for PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP 2013, a humanitarian mission to supply medical and engineering aid.

For Commander Watson, the moment was bittersweet as he saw the ship and her crew off.

“I’m very proud of what Tobruk has accomplished these past months,” he said.

“I hope the crew are as proud of themselves as I am of them.”

Commander Watson will move into his new position as a Capability Manager within the Amphibious Afloat Support Group.

New Commanding Officer Commander Maxfield said he was inheriting a capable ship and hardworking crew and was looking forward to the ships deployment to Papua New Guinea.

“It’s a great privilege to assume command of HMAS Tobruk - a ship with an outstanding history of achievement and service and which is close to the heart of many people who have served on her in the past 32 years.”

“HMAS Tobruk is again showing her versatility and capability as she heads north to support PP 13 in PNG.”

Tobruk’s ship’s company is well prepared, highly motivate and enthusiastically looking forward to working with our close friends in Papua New Guinea.”

HMAS Tobruk is a heavy lift ship based at Fleet Base East in Sydney.

During her seven week deployment, Tobruk will transport over 100 embarked medical and engineering personnel from Australia, Japan and the United States as well as 100 tonnes of cargo bound for the remote townships of Wewak and Vanimo.

HMAS Tobruk will return to Sydney at the end of her deployment in late July.

Outgoing Commanding Officer, Tim Watson gives a final salute to HMAS Tobruk during his departure on a rigid hull inflatable boat.

Outgoing Commanding Officer, Tim Watson gives a final salute to HMAS Tobruk during his departure on a rigid hull inflatable boat.