Navy to navy talks between the Australian and Spanish navies have allowed an Australian Navy officer to be promoted on board a Spanish warship.
Deputy Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Michael Noonan led the Australian delegation to Spain, and the program included a visit to the Arsenal Naval Base in Ferrol, North West Spain where Lieutenant Commander Tom Kenny is the resident Royal Australian Navy Liaison Officer to the Armada 31st Escort Squadron.
Lieutenant Commander Kenny is working with the Spanish F100 Álvaro de Bazán Class (the same design as the Royal Australian Navy’s Hobart class destroyers).
Rear Admiral Noonan promoted Lieutenant Commander Kenny to Commander on board the F105 Cristóbal Colón in front of Commander Kenny’s family, Armada peers and Cristóbal Colón crew members.
The Armada incorporated the promotion event into one of their traditional ceremonies where one of the essential core rules that all officers and sailors must follow is read out to the crew and re-emphasised to ensure discipline within the Armada.
“It has been the highlight of my military career having the opportunity to work here in Spain and integrate both myself and the family into the Spanish culture,” Commander Kenny said.
“The people here are extremely friendly and not only was my son born here, but my three-year-old daughter speaks fluent Spanish – even better than me.”
Commander Kenny will shortly depart his post in Spain to undertake the role of Marine Engineer Officer in NUSHIP Hobart.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity of utilising the experience I have gained here in Spain within the 31st Squadron to assist the Royal Australian Navy with the complex and challenging task of getting NUSHIP Hobart accepted into service.”
NUSHIP Hobart will commence category 5 sea trials in mid-January 2017 and will be assisted by the deployment of Cristóbal Colón which will not only integrate into the Royal Australian Navy fleet but will provide dedicated training and familiarisation opportunities for the crews of future Australian destroyers Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney.