The inaugural Commander of the Australian Maritime Task Group, Captain Andrew Quinn, has handed over the role to Captain David Tietzel following a successful two-year appointment. 

Commander of the Australian Maritime Task Group is responsible for the sea combat capability of multiple ships, their collective personnel, and aircraft.

An example of this was the Regional Presence Deployment 2020 in which five ships deployed overseas in company.

Captain Quinn handed over to Captain Tietzel at Fleet Headquarters in Sydney, ending a tenure that spanned a crucial period in Navy’s shift towards task group operations.

Captain Quinn said he hoped to bring to the role a sharper focus on the sea combat element of task group operations.

“It has been really pleasing to achieve this over the past two years,” Captain Quinn said.

“Deployments and training events like Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019, Talisman Sabre 2019, the Ocean series of exercises and, most recently, the Regional Presence Deployment 2020 prove that task group operations have been normalised.

“Task group operations will remain an exciting space. 

“We continue to mature our amphibious capabilities.

“Our new air warfare destroyers are integrating into the fleet and our Anzac-class frigates are being progressively upgraded, so the lethality of our task groups is increasing.

“As a task group, we are conducting bilateral and multilateral engagements with our friends, neighbours and partners as we are active and persistent in the Indo-Pacific region, which demonstrates our commitment.”

While Captain Quinn is looking forward to his next posting as Director-General Surface Combatants and Aviation, he said he would remember the dedication of his staff and the ship’s companies he deployed with in his former role.

“One thing that’s always struck me in my time as Commander of the Australian Maritime Task Group is how motivated and professional our Navy people are,” Captain Quinn said.

“All our people need is clear direction and resourcing, and they are motivated and self-starting. 

“That’s a great position to be in as a commander and they have been a pleasure to lead and sail with.”