When Captain Lee Goddard handed over the 'weight' of command to Captain Ivan Ingham recently, the ceremony marked a significant turning point in the career for the outgoing HMAS Perth Commanding Officer.
After career at sea spanning more than 20 years including command of HMA Ships Parramatta and Perth, Captain Goddard is now looking forward to a promotion to Commodore and assuming the mantle of Commander Australian Surface Force.
“They often say command is lonely, but the crew of Perth have never made me feel like I’m alone and it has been a wonderful experience serving with an excellent crew.
“I’ve had many highlights during the last two years, notably when Perth was the senior ship during the International Fleet Review in Sydney in 2013.
“But all good things must come to an end and for my command, and in fact my time at sea, that time has now come,” Captain Goddard said.
It is rather fitting that Captain Goddard’s last sea posting was in HMAS Perth, the third ship to bear the name, as he first went to sea on the second HMAS Perth, the Guided Missile Destroyer, in 1990.
Perth's Operations Officer Lieutenant Commander Dylan White presented the departing Commanding Officer with a framed memento, which included photographs of all three Perths, a picture of Captain Hector Waller, he iconic wartime Commanding Officer of the first HMAS Perth, and photographs of Captain Goddard in command and as a midshipman in his first sea posting.
Receiving the ship from Captain Goddard, Captain Ingham officially began his third command after a period ashore at the Australian Defence College and Russell Offices in Canberra. Perth’s new Commanding Officer addressed the crew to thank Captain Goddard and express his hopes for the future of Perth.
“I salute Captain Goddard on his achievements as Commanding Officer Perth, and congratulate him on his promotion to Commodore and I wish him and his family all the best in the new posting.
“The name of HMAS Perth carries with it a history and a reputation, both from the achievements of the first two, as well as the remarkable achievements that this ship has achieved as the first ASMD upgraded frigate in the fleet. I look forward to the opportunity to carry and promote that reputation in the future,” Captain Ingham said.
“I have the ship.”
After finishing a period of Extended Maintenance Perth is scheduled to return to sea on 1 December for a Mariner Skills Evaluation, before a busy start to 2015 with first of flight trials of the new MH-60R Seahawk and unit readiness workup.