Chief of Navy (CN) Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO, CSC, RAN has gone to sea for the last time as Chief of Navy onboard HMAS Arunta, just as the ship has achieved a significant milestone with the completion of the Anti-Ship Missile Defence Upgrade Programme.
Sailing overnight in the second of the eight ANZAC Frigates to complete the upgrade enabled CN to revisit a ship he commanded over 12 years prior. Whilst the layout of the ship was familiar to him, a tour including the two deck passageway, quarter deck, machinery control room and bridge highlighted the changes that have been made during the upgrade.
CN also talked to ship’s company whilst enjoying a cake baked by the onboard chefs, viewed and participated in a surface warfare serial, observed a silent hours emergency response team exercise and assistant principal warfare officer training.
As the sun set in the West Australian Exercise Area, Chief of Navy reflected on his time in command of the Royal Australian Navy.
“I have been so humbled to lead an organisation of amazing men and women. Together we have had three years of significant change, challenges and achievements,” said Vice Admiral Griggs.
“I am most proud of the progress we have made with cultural reform associated with New Generation Navy, development of the seaworthiness management system, implementation of the Rizzo Report recommendations and of course the spectacular success of the International Fleet Review”
“I would like to thank all of you for your support as we have moved Navy forward, and I want you to pass on my thanks too, to your family, without their support none of us could achieve all that we do.”
CN’s visit to Arunta coincided with their sea qualification trials following the Anti-Ship Missile Upgrade. During the last eighteen months every compartment within Arunta has been affected with more than 30,000 metres of fibre optic cabling laid. A substantial maintenance package was also completed to ensure compliance with the tenets of seaworthiness.
Vice Admiral Griggs has particular interest in visiting Arunta in his last week as Chief of Navy as he was Commanding Officer 2001-2002 in which time she deployed as part of Operation RELEX, to the Middle East Area of Operations and was awarded the Duke of Gloucester's Cup for being the most operationally efficient ship in the RAN fleet for 2002.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20141866.