There has been a changing of the guard at Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC) with Vice Admiral David Johnston taking on the role of Chief of Joint Operations following the retirement of Lieutenant General Ash Power.
Military and Australian Public Service staff posted to HQJOC witnessed the handover ceremony on May 19, during which Lieutenant General Power received the pennant that had flown at the front of the building at Bungendore near Canberra since 2011. It was replaced by a new pennant representing the change of command.
HQJOC staff then lined the driveway to applaud Lieutenant General Power and his wife as they drove from the compound for the last time.
Vice Admiral Johnston said he was delighted to accept his new role and the operational challenges it would bring.
“I am very excited about this command. I’ve worked here twice before and the chance to come back was a very special one,” he said.
“I want to make sure we continue the excellent work that has been done running our current operations and be ready for any mission that might be given to us at any notice.
“I aim to use the experience I’ve gained and align it with all the experience of the people that work with us in the command and across Defence to make sure our people can be successful and safe.”
Vice Admiral Johnston said the wellbeing of ADF members on all operations from across the ADF would be a primary focus.
Lieutenant General Power said he was proud to have served as Chief of Joint Operations.
“JOC is a really important organisation inside Defence that has done fantastic work over the last three years plus in assisting me to command operations,” he said.
“Nothing is more important than looking after our deployed men and women and we’ve done that very well.
“Of course, operations will continue and HQJOC is well positioned to meet any future challenge.
“Well done and thanks to all who have served.”
There will be one major change at HQJOC. VADM Johnston told the farewell ceremony that the days of the ADF’s operational HQ barracking for The Sydney Swans are over. HQJOC is now firmly in the St Kilda camp.
Press Release, May 23, 2014; Image: Australian Navy