In a small but poignant ceremony on board HMAS Brisbane, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, AO, RAN hauled down his flag and passed the weight as Commander Australian Fleet to his successor, Rear Admiral Mark Hammond, RAN.
The Sydney Harbour ceremony was attended by a limited group of guests including family members and members of the Fleet Senior Leadership Group.
Overall, fleet units are spending increasing numbers of sea days deployed into the Indo-Pacific region.
Joint and coalition activities have become the norm for the Australian Fleet, which has conducted an increased number of engagements with regional navies under Rear Admiral Mead.
Along with the Fleet responsiveness to Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST and the new reality of enduring operations in the COVID-19 environment, the Fleet looks and operates in a significantly different manner than it did three years ago.
“Serving in this position has been an honour and a valuable education. It is a truly exciting time to be part of Navy,” Rear Admiral Mead said.
“My goals in my tenure were to generate forces, deploy forces and to be prepared to fight. We have made great strides in these areas.
“I have learned so much from the sailors and officers I have worked with these last few years and I leave this position with the utmost respect for the resilience, professionalism and agility of our Navy people.
Rear Admiral Mead will be promoted to Vice Admiral and appointed as Chief of Joint Capability.
Rear Admiral Hammond assumes Command of Her Majesty’s Australian Fleet having previously served as Deputy Chief of Navy.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: https://images.navy.gov.au/S20203678.