Just days into his new appointment as Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer made his first official visit to HMAS Albatross, Nowra, where he addressed members of the Command team and toured the Navy’s Fleet Air Arm Squadrons.
Commander Australian Fleet is a senior appointment within the Australian Defence Force responsible for leading and commanding all of Navy’s combat forces and maritime operations.
Addressing Fleet Air Arm personnel, Rear Admiral Mayer said one of his first priorities in the exacting role is to visit Fleet Units.
“I am committed to getting out, learning about, and being involved in the operation of various RAN units.
“The main objectives for my visit to your base today are to introduce myself to the aviation community in order to build and strengthen the relationship, and also to share my mandate as Commander Australian Fleet,” Rear Admiral Mayer said.
The Admiral also conveyed his priorities for the Fleet - the ‘Four Ps’.
“People, platforms, professionalism and pride are the cornerstones of my Command philosophy,” Rear Admiral Mayer said.
Commanding Officer 723 Squadron, Commander Alan Moore, said there were a number of important points from the Admiral’s briefing that he will disseminate to his people.
“Personnel accountability to ensure all required decisions are made quickly but informatively to progress Navy’s capability; current and future was a key point.
“Also, the continual evolution of the cultural change program ‘New Generation Navy’ including how it has greatly improved and continues to improve the Navy workplace environment,” Commander Moore said.
“I also very much value the Admiral’s message regarding the importance of working and communicating regularly together across all Navy groups to ensure that information flows and cross-pollinates across all centres of excellence.”
Commanding Officer 816 Squadron, Commander Marc Pavillard, said the Fleet Commander was interested in every aspect of Squadron operations.
“Rear Admiral Mayer was particularly interested in the state of the current fleet of aircraft, and he also had questions about the transition to the Navy’s new combat aircraft - the MH-60R Romeo.
“I was able to share with him the view that while there are some natural challenges ahead, the excellent plans currently in place will make for a smooth transition.”
Commander Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Vince Di Pietro, said it was pleasing to have some valuable time with the newly appointed Fleet Commander, and for the Admiral to meet the operational leaders and Airworthiness Management Team.
“Rear Admiral Mayer’s candour was much appreciated and well received by all.
“I personally came away with two messages: a clear picture of his expectations of our need to manage well our people and platforms, and for us to do so with professionalism and pride.
“The second was to maintain the momentum of the last five years of hard work of New Generation Navy, and the increasing traction of seaworthiness by seeking ways to optimise our operational aviation capability with ships and submarines,” Commodore Di Pietro said.