Warramunga’s Hawaiian change of command

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Morgan Rush (author), CPO Andy Border (author), LSIS Kayla Hayes (photographer)

Location(s): Honolulu, Hawaii

Topic(s): HMAS Warramunga (F152), Exercise RIMPAC

Commanding Officer of HMAS Warramunga, Commander Andrew Wills, MVO, RAN, hands over command of the ship to Commander Dugald Clelland, RAN, during the ships visit to Pearl Harbor for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016. (photo: ABIS Kayla Hayes)
Commanding Officer of HMAS Warramunga, Commander Andrew Wills, MVO, RAN, hands over command of the ship to Commander Dugald Clelland, RAN, during the ships visit to Pearl Harbor for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016.

HMAS Warramunga has a new Commanding Officer, with Commander Dugald Clelland assuming the role from Commander Andrew Willis at a ceremony in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, this month.
 
Commander Willis handed over ‘the weight’ - a shield made by the Warramungu people of Northern Australia - at the end of Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2016.
 
Commander Clelland said he intended to continue the good work of his predecessor. 
 
‘I am looking forward to working with Warramunga’s officers and sailorsCommander Willis and the crew have achieved a lot in the last year, and I am sure we will continue to achieve everything that is required of us in the months to come,” he said.
 
Commander Clelland was the Commanding Officer of Sydney-based mine hunters HMA Ships Norman and Huon from 2009 to 2011. Huon was awarded the Rushcutters Shield, given annually to the best Mine Counter Measures unit in the Australian fleet, during his command.
 
Commander Clelland was also a previous Commanding Officer of the Royal Australian Navy Recruit Training School at HMAS Cerberus before taking up the seagoing role.
 
Commander Willis wished his replacement well and said that having command of Warramunga, and HMAS Parramatta beforehand, had been an “extraordinary privilege”. 
 
“My officers and sailors are impressive individuals and amazing as a team,” he said.
 
Commander Willis commanded Parramatta from 2014 to 2015 before the crew swapped to Warramunga.
 

During his commands, Parramatta intercepted a Russian Navy Task Group in the Coral Sea in 2014. 
 
Warramunga 
will participate in Exercise KAKADU - the Royal Australian Navy’s premier international maritime activity - off the Darwin coast in September. 
 
The helicopter frigate will then deploy to South East Asia to take part in Exercise BERSAMA LIMA – held off Singapore and involving forces from Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. 
 
Warramunga 
will return home to Fleet Base East in early December 2016.