There has been a changing of the guard at Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC) with Vice Admiral David Johnston taking on the role of Chief of Joint Operations following the retirement of Lieutenant General Ash Power.
Sailors, soldiers, airmen and women and Australian Public Service staff posted to HQJOC witnessed the handover ceremony, which saw LTGEN Power handed the pennant which had flown at the front of their building at Bungendore near Canberra, since 2011. It was replaced by a new pennant representing the change of command. HQJOC staff then lined the driveway to applaud LTGEN Power and his wife as they drove from the compound for the last time.
VADM Johnston said he was delighted to accept his new role and the operational challenges it brings.
“I am very excited about this command,’ he said. “I’ve worked here twice before and the chance to come back was a very special one.
“I want to make sure we continue the excellent work that has been done running our current operations and be ready for any mission that might be given to us at any notice,” he said.
“I aim to use the experience I’ve gained and align it with all the experience of the people that work with us in the command and across Defence to make sure our people can be successful and safe.”
VADM Johnston said the wellbeing of Australian Defence Force members on all operations will be a primary focus.
LTGEN Power said he was proud to have served as Chief of Joint Operations.
“Joint Operations Commands a really important organisation inside Defence that has done fantastic work over the last 3 years plus in assisting me to command operations,” he said.
“Nothing is more important than looking after our deployed men and women and we've done that very well.
“Of course, operations will continue and HQJOC is well positioned to meet any future challenge.
“Well done and thanks to all who have served.”
There will be one major change at HQJOC. VADM Johnston told the farewell ceremony that the days of the ADF’s operational Headquarters barracking for the Sydney Swans were over.
“HQJOC is now firmly in the St Kilda camp,” he said.
Imagery is available on the Australian Defence Image Library at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20141424.