Navy’s New Deputy Chief

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Emily McFarlane (author), LSIS James McDougall (photographer)

Location(s): Canberra, ACT

Topic(s): Change of Command

Rear Admiral Mark Hammond, AM, RAN, left, hands over the weight to newly appointed Deputy Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Christopher Smith, CSM, RAN, in a ceremony at Navy Headquarters, Canberra. (photo: LSIS James McDougall)
Rear Admiral Mark Hammond, AM, RAN, left, hands over the weight to newly appointed Deputy Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Christopher Smith, CSM, RAN, in a ceremony at Navy Headquarters, Canberra.

The Royal Australian Navy officially welcomed Rear Admiral Christopher Smith, RAN, to the role of Deputy Chief of Navy and Head Navy People Training and Resources (HNPTAR) in a small ceremony in Canberra today.

Rear Admiral Smith took ‘the weight’ from Rear Admiral Mark Hammond AM, RAN, following Navy tradition and representing the passing on of responsibility.

“I am very privileged to be taking on this role and having the opportunity to work with such a superb leadership team, to focus on continuing to take the Navy forward,” Rear Admiral Smith said.

The Deputy Chief of Navy (DCN) has two sets of parallel responsibilities. DCN/HNPTAR is responsible for the alignment of accountability, responsibility, performance and resource management, as well as managing the Navy’s uniformed integrated workforce.

Speaking of his time as DCN, RADM Hammond said it was the highlight of his career.

“Serving as the Deputy Chief of Navy over the last two years gave me an opportunity to be part of a team that has made a real difference,” RADM Hammond said.

“I’m really proud of the achievements we have made as an organisation, in particular being able to grow our workforce to full strength and give it depth to sustain the current and future force.”

Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Mike Noonan AO, RAN joined the ceremony via video link, and noted Rear Admiral Hammond’s achievements of creating the Maritime Human Resource Officer category and introducing Maritime Spiritual Wellbeing Officers to Navy.

“Mark immersed himself in the people side of our organisation, engaged personally at all levels and designed and implemented a system to improve the way we develop our workforce,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

“He has made changes to our people management portfolio over the last two years that have made a demonstrable difference, and I thank him for his commitment to furthering our work in the people space.”

Vice Admiral Noonan welcomed Rear Admiral Smith into the role of DCN/HNPTAR and said his many and varied positions over a 30 year Navy career has equipped him with the experience to take on the role.

“Chris has the ability to relate with, communicate with, and get the best out of people - qualities that make him great for the role of DCN.”

Rear Admiral Smith takes up the role of Deputy Chief of Navy having recently served as Director General Littoral in Navy Capability, after roles as the Commander Surface Force and Commanding Officer of HMAS Canberra.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN, left, promoted Commodore Christopher Smith, CSM, RAN to the rank of Rear Admiral during a ceremony at Navy Headquarters, Canberra in August 2020.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN, left, promoted Commodore Christopher Smith, CSM, RAN to the rank of Rear Admiral during a ceremony at Navy Headquarters, Canberra in August 2020.