Outgoing CN farewells the Top End and northern Queensland

Published on LCDR Chloe Wootten (author), LSIS Lee-Anne Mack (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Cairns, HMAS Coonawarra

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN (centre) with the latest group of Defence Indigenous Development Program cadets at HMAS Cairns.   (photo: ABIS Lee-Anne Mack)
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN (centre) with the latest group of Defence Indigenous Development Program cadets at HMAS Cairns.

In one of his final trips as Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs has paid tribute to the efforts of Navy people in the north of Australia making a personal visit to both HMA Ships Coonawarra and Cairns.

While at Coonawarra, he thanked personnel for their contribution to Border Protection activities and acknowledged the support to operations, exercises and  Navy’s presence in the Northern Territory.

He visited the Armidale Class Patrol Boat maintenance facility, ships alongside and the Personnel Support Unit.

In Cairns, he emphasised the importance of hydrographic operations but also focussed on community engagement and cultural reform.

Vice Admiral Griggs also spent time with the latest group of Defence Indigenous Development Program Cadets, who are undertaking a program that introduces young Indigenous adults to life in the Navy.

At both establishments Vice Admiral Griggs presented Operational and Long Service Medals and Commendations for outstanding service recognising the tireless efforts of Navy’s people.

Vice Admiral Griggs said it was especially important that he make the trip north to support all those involved in Operation Resolute.

“Your professionalism at sea and ashore is a credit to our Navy—I am proud to serve alongside you as continue to do so day-in-day out—you have my thanks and admiration,” Vice Admiral Griggs said.

“As I hand over the reins, I am confident that ours is a Navy of inclusion, benefitting from our diversity and the scope of talent that brings.”

The Chief’s trip to HMAS Coonawarra was also an opportunity for the assembled company to pause and acknowledge the loss of Lieutenant Scott Jarman, who tragically lost his life in a motor vehicle accident in Darwin on June 12.

Vice Admiral Griggs spoke at length with sailors and officers about the challenges of

Naval service and was presented with farewell gifts by both ship’s companies.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN speaks with the crew of Assail Four onboard HMAS Childers at HMAS Coonawarra, Darwin.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN speaks with the crew of Assail Four onboard HMAS Childers at HMAS Coonawarra, Darwin.

More imagery at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20141785