Chief of Navy Change of Command
30 June 2014
With snow on the mountains and typical Canberra winter briskness in the air, former CN VADM Ray Griggs passed the weight of command to CN VADM Tim Barrett at Russell Offices on June 30.
A Navy guard, a parade of Navy personnel, the Navy Band and many Defence civilians were on hand to witness the historic moment. Newly named indigenous dance troop Bungaree also performed, finishing their performance by handing a message stick to VADM Barrett.
While VADM Griggs quipped that the height of the microphone had never been right in his three years at the helm, VADM Barrett said he had no issue with the microphone height and was indeed looking forward to filling some big shoes.
"Other than me, I know of no one, no one who cares more about the Navy than VADM Griggs," VADM Barrett said. "His energy, his devotion, his intellect have made him a formidable chief and that is just what Navy has needed over the last three years."
VADM Barrett said the reforms put in under VADM Griggs' stewardship would remain the focus of his tenure as CN and reiterated the goals outlined by VADM Griggs' in his handover address.
"To gain and maintain our contract with government and with it the trust of the Australian people, to prepare for new capabilities and to continue our reform and cultural change journey, these are my goals also," VADM Barrett said.
"While I might run a slightly different watch bill, the headmark will remain the same."
VADM Griggs said while there had been many challenges in his time as CN, there had also been many operational successes, and that they would not have been possible without the dedication of the Defence team as a whole, those in and out of uniform.
"On most days around 20 per cent of our fleet is on operations day in day out and between 30-35 per cent of the fleet is at sea either on operations exercising or preparing for operations, today it’s 36 per cent."
"We are once more a working Navy and this has only been possible because of our collective efforts."
VADM Griggs said the cultural and reform journey needed to continue to ensure Navy remained an inclusive not exclusive team.
"We can only fight and win as a team. To do that we must respect all members of the team and if we don’t have an inclusive culture, we can never reach our potential."
In thanking outgoing CDF GEN David Hurley and wishing him well in his future role, he suggested that an honorary commodoreship might be on the cards but quipped "you will have to work on your salute and you will have to control your feet when coming to attention".