Fleet Commander farewelled as new Admiral takes the weight

Published on Ms Natalie Staples (author), Navy Imagery Unit - East (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base East, Sydney

Outgoing Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett salutes passing HMAS ships aboard the Admiral's Barge, as he departs Fleet Base East for the last time as Commander Australian Fleet.  (photo: ABIS Tom Gibson)
Outgoing Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett salutes passing HMAS ships aboard the Admiral's Barge, as he departs Fleet Base East for the last time as Commander Australian Fleet.

After two and half years as Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett has handed over the weight to Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer at a ceremony in Sydney today.

Fleet Headquarters personnel stood at attention as Rear Admiral Barrett’s flag was lowered and Rear Admiral Mayer’s flag was raised for the first time, at the change of command ceremony.

“It is my honour to hand over Fleet Command to Rear Admiral Mayer,” said Rear Admiral Barrett.

“He brings a wealth of operational and command experience.  RADM Mayer will not be a stranger to many of you, having held the position of Commodore Warfare.  Most recently he has been Director General Navy Capability Plans and Engagement and he will do a fine job as bring online new capabilities like the Landing Helicopter Dock.”

“During my time as Fleet Commander, I have had the pleasure of working with dedicated professionals.  Your enthusiasm and commitment has made my job easier.  Together we have achieved a number of milestones.  In October last year, we hosted a very successful International Fleet Review, which advanced the reputation of Australia in the region and across the globe,” said Rear Admiral Barrett. 

“We also saw the introduction of the Defence Seaworthiness System, which ensures our ships are operated in a safe and regulated manner.  This has now matured and delivered resource and compliance benefits.”

“The introduction of new capability has also been progressing.  In the aviation world the MRH90’s have been introduced to fulfill the Maritime Support Helicopter role and Navy has taken delivery of a number of MH-60R Seahawk Romeos,” said RADM Barrett.

“Preparations are also advanced for the delivery of the first LHD, which will be commissioned later this year.”

“Importantly the fleet continued to meet every Government directed operation, maintaining a continued presence in the Middle East Area of Operations as part of Operation SLIPPER and supporting border protection functions as part of Operation RESOLUTE,” said Rear Admiral Barrett. 

“I know you will support RADM Mayer with the same enthusiasm and professionalism as you have supported me,” said RADM Barrett.

Outgoing Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett shakes the hand of incoming Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer at the change of command ceremony.

Outgoing Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett shakes the hand of incoming Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer at the change of command ceremony.

Following the ceremony, Rear Admiral Barrett embarked the Admiral’s barge bound for HMAS Watson.  Enroute he reviewed HMA Ships Tobruk, Parramatta, Diamantina and Newcastle who ‘cheered ship’ as the Admiral’s barge sailed past.

Rear Admiral Barrett held the position of Commander Australian Fleet since 22 December 2011.  He will be promoted to Vice Admiral and assume the role of Chief of Navy on 30 June this year.

Rear Admiral Mayer says he is looking forward to leading the men and women of Fleet Command.

“Rear Admiral Barrett has led the Fleet with vision and drive, achieving significant progress in delivering a seaworthy Fleet and answering the requirements of our Government.  I will strive to emulate this high personal standard and build upon this platform of seaworthiness as we deliver a fleet capable of meeting the Navy mission to fight and win at sea.”

The crew of HMAS Choules prepare to cheer ship as the Outgoing Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett sails past Fleet Base East for the last time as Commander Australian Fleet aboard the Admiral's Barge.

The crew of HMAS Choules prepare to cheer ship as the Outgoing Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett sails past Fleet Base East for the last time as Commander Australian Fleet aboard the Admiral's Barge.

 More imagery is available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20141691