The RAN has officially welcomed Rear Admiral Chris Smith to the role of Deputy Chief of Navy and Head Navy People Training and Resources (HNPTAR).

At a small ceremony in Canberra today, Rear Admiral Smith took ‘the weight’ of command from Rear Admiral Mark Hammond following Navy tradition and representing the transfer 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. 

Deputy Chief of Navy has two sets of parallel responsibilities. Deputy Chief of Navy/HNPTAR is responsible for the alignment of accountability, responsibility, performance and resource management and managing a uniformed integrated workforce. 

Speaking of his time as Deputy Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral 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,” Rear Admiral 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, who joined the ceremony via video link, praised 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 to the role of Deputy Chief of Navy/HNPTAR and said his many and varied positions over a 30-year Navy career had 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 Deputy Chief of Navy.”