The Deputy Chief of Navy says increasing the size of the Royal Australian Navy and maintaining a healthy workplace culture will be critical to achieving Navy’s Strategy for 2022.
Rear Admiral Mark Hammond is leading key ‘outcomes’ for Plan Pelorus 2022.
The three-year plan is focused on developing Navy into a force capable of conducting sustained combat operations as part of a joint force.
Since the launch of Pelorus 2022 earlier this year, recruitment has begun to improve.
“The 2016 Defence White Paper required us to grow to a force of about 15,500 in the coming years,” Rear Admiral Hammond said.
“We've grown Navy by approximately 700 people over the last 15 months.
“We've also developed a number of initiatives which have had a very positive impact on retention.
“About 18 months ago, our separation rate was around 10.5% and that's now come down to 8.2% and decreasing, which is wonderful news,” Rear Admiral Hammond said.
The Deputy Chief warns that cultural and leadership development must continue in order to ensure Navy capitalises on the recruiting surge and professionally sustains its high operational output in an increasingly complex and congested maritime environment.
“The operating environment is highly charged and often demanding, but achieving our mission at the expense of our people undermines capability.
“We must strive to balance these pressures,” DCN said.
As part of Pelorus 2022, significant work is being channelled into developing leadership programs for sailors.
The Navy Emerging Leaders Forum is proving very popular with the focus less on doctrine and more on individuals and how they behave under pressure.
“It’s our job as leaders to remain calm in that environment and to ensure that at all times we treat our people with dignity and respect while discharging our duties with complete professionalism.
“Ultimately our platforms are just objects of steel and wire that are animated and brought to life by our people.
“Our true capability is resident in our people,” Rear Admiral Hammond said.