The start of the year heralded a change at the top for the crew of HMAS Dechaineux, with Commander Daniel Sutherland taking charge of the submarine from Commander Robin Dainty.
Having previously served as Executive Officer of Dechaineux, Commander Sutherland said he was pleased to return to the boat.
“It is a privilege. I enjoyed my time as Executive Officer and, as a result, I am emotionally invested in the boat and crew,” he said.
“As Commanding Officer, I now have ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the submarine. This gives me an entirely different perspective on the issues and situations that I faced as Executive Officer.”
Commander Sutherland said he was excited to get back to sea, coming from a seagoing family, with his father, mother and brother having served in the Navy.
“We have a very busy year ahead. We will be involved in numerous exercises with other navies and Australian Defence Force assets. These activities will give us excellent training opportunities and build our experience while contributing to the defence of Australian interests,” he said.
He also said he was prepared for the challenges of Command.
“Leadership challenges you to balance different priorities. In my case, the needs of the Navy and the individual crew members are often, but not always, aligned. I must make decisions that affect that balance. This will be the biggest challenge,” he said.
Commander Sutherland said Commander Dainty had given him some advice during the hand-over.
“He advised I get to know the platform intimately and the crew personally. He told me to enjoy my time in Command as it would be over in a heart beat,” Commander Sutherland said.
Commander Robin Dainty will soon be taking up his new position with Commander Submarine Forces Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.