Friday 11th July saw Commander Simon Cannell, RAN hand over command of the Australian Navy’s Anzac Class Frigate HMAS Parramatta to Commander Andrew Willis, MVO, RAN.
The handover ceremony took place on Parramatta’s flight deck, whilst the ship was berthed at Honiara in the Solomon Islands. The handing over of the ‘weight’ – in this case the telescope from HMAS Parramatta (II) – to Commander Willis was witnessed by members of ship’s company and staff from the Australian High Commission.
“Parramatta has conducted several operational deployments during my time as Commanding Officer and I believe we have made valuable contribution to Defence.
“I have been privileged, and honoured to serve with a crew who live and work to the Navy values. I wish the crew and Commander Willis the best for the future and the rest of the deployment,” Commander Cannell said.
During his tenue of Commanding Officer, Parramatta conducted exercises including Exercise AUSTHAI, Exercise BERSAMA LIMA and was involved in the International Fleet Review in October 2013. Parramatta has also conducted four Operation RESOLUTE deployments, with the last over the Christmas period.
In conjunction with the busy operational tempo, Parramatta was awarded the OTRANTO Shield, for the most consistent gunnery and surface to air missile results during 2013.
Commander Cannell had the ‘side piped’ for him one last time as he stepped across the gangway, and received cheers from ship’s company as he departed.
Commander Willis has undertaken postings in Parramatta, on two different occasions prior to assuming Command, firstly as part of Parramatta’s commissioning crew where he was the Operations Officer in 2003-2004, and as the Executive Officer 2008-2009.
Press Release, July 15, 2014; Image: Australian Navy