New COMNORCOM takes the helm

Published on SBLT Bianca Wise (author), LSIS Jo Dilorenzo (photographer)

Location(s): Larrakeyah Barracks, Darwin, NT

Newly appointed Commander Northern Command, Commodore Brenton Smyth (left) with outgoing Commander Northern Command, Air Commodore (AIRCDRE) Ken Watson observes the flag ceremony, during the hand over parade at Headquarters Northern Command Darwin. (photo: LSIS Jo Dilorenzo)
Newly appointed Commander Northern Command, Commodore Brenton Smyth (left) with outgoing Commander Northern Command, Air Commodore (AIRCDRE) Ken Watson observes the flag ceremony, during the hand over parade at Headquarters Northern Command Darwin.

Commander Northern Command (COMNORCOM) Air Commodore (AIRCDRE) Ken Watson has handed over to Commodore (CDRE) Brenton Smyth in an official ceremony held at Larrakeyah Barracks in Darwin.

The official event included the signing of the hand over take over certificate, a flag ceremony and an AP-3C Orion fly past. 

It was a fitting farewell from the position for AIRCDRE Watson who has served 30 years in the Royal Australian Air Force with many of those spent as a Navigator onboard the AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft.

Newly appointed Commander Northern Command, Commodore Brenton Smyth (left) with outgoing Commander Northern Command, Air Commodore (AIRCDRE) Ken Watson observes the transfer of flags ceremony, during the hand over parade at Headquarters Northern Command Darwin.

Newly appointed Commander Northern Command, Commodore Brenton Smyth (left) with outgoing Commander Northern Command, Air Commodore (AIRCDRE) Ken Watson observes the transfer of flags ceremony, during the hand over parade at Headquarters Northern Command Darwin.

AIRCDRE Watson will soon be promoted to take up a position within the United States Central Command in Tampa, Florida. He will be accompanied on his posting by wife Wing Commander Desiree Watson and their four children.

“We are off on a new adventure soon, but Darwin will loom large and happily in our life experience,” the honorary Territorian AIRCDRE Watson said.

“For my family, the time in the Territory has been a unique experience. We have enjoyed all Darwin has to offer and are very appreciative of the warmness of the locals and the commitment of the ADF members who have served with us.

“The performance of the Headquarters, patrol boat and air surveillance crews throughout my three year tenure has been magnificent. 

CDRE Smyth acknowledged AIRCDRE Watson for what he has achieved over the last three years, highlighting the former COMNORCOM for his exemplary Command efforts.

“It is an enormous privilege and honour to be chosen as COMNORCOM and it is with great pride and humility that I accept the roles and responsibilities from Ken,” CDRE Smyth said.

“I know he will be sorely missed by Defence members and the Darwin community alike.

“At NORCOM we will continue to face many challenges that we must overcome, but reflecting on what has been achieved over the years and the exceptional things that continue to be achieved on a daily basis by this headquarters and all Defence assets in the NORCOM Area of Responsibility I know that together we will successfully meet these challenges.

Headquarters Northern Command coordinates the Australian Defence Force (ADF) contribution to Border Security as well as the ADF response to civil emergencies (Defence Aid to the Civil Community - DACC) in times of extreme weather events.  

More imagery available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20132028