Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, took time out of his visit to Fleet Base West recently to recognise one member’s 40 years’ service in the Royal Australian Navy.
On awarding Chief Petty Officer Maritime Logistics – Steward John Farrell the Federation Star, VADM Barrett said it showed a lifetime of commitment to the Royal Australian Navy.
Chief Petty Officer Farrell joined the Navy as a Junior Recruit in 1977 and spent his initial training period at HMAS Leeuwin in Fremantle.
He joined his first ship, the Daring Class Destroyer HMAS Vampire, in 1978, shortly before the ship sailed for a six-month South East Asian deployment.
“I ended up celebrating my 18th birthday in Subic Bay, the Philippines,” he said.
Over the next few years Chief Farrell had postings to HMA ships Swan, Cook, Adelaide, Jervis Bay, Canberra and Anzac. He was also part of Derwent’s decommissioning crew.
Chief Farrell said his longest single posting was to the Submarine Force where he served as the Submarine Training Coordinator from 2004 until 2017.
“I was mainly responsible for trainee movements and their progression through their courses,” he said.
During his time at the Submarine Training Systems Centre (STSC), Chief Petty Officer Farrell had a direct involvement in the submarine careers of more than 700 sailors and officers.
Chief Farrell will continue in his current role at the STSC for at least the next two years.