Change at the top for Naval Base

CAPT Fred Keating
Commander of HMNZS PHILOMEL, Captain Fred Keating (MC09-0008-185tn).

28 January 2010

A ceremony to mark the change of Commanding Officer for the Royal New Zealand Navy base, HMNZS PHILOMEL, will be held at 10am, Friday 29 January at Devonport Naval Base.

During the ceremony Captain Dean McDougall will relinquish command of HMNZS PHILOMEL and Captain Fred Keating will assume command.

The changing of command takes place when Captain McDougall states “You have the ship” and Captain Keating replies “I have the ship”.

The Change of Command Ceremony is traditionally formal and impressive – designed to strengthen the respect for authority, which is vital to any military organisation.

Captain McDougall will be greeted with a Haka Powhiri performed by the Navy Maori Cultural Group to farewell him from the position he has held.

Witnessing the ceremony will be the ship's company of HMNZS PHILOMEL, invited guests, families and friends.
Deputy Chief of Navy, Commodore Bruce Pepperell, will review the ceremony.

Biography – Captain Fred Keating

Captain Fred Keating joined the RNZN in January 1976 as a Junior Weapon Electrical Engineering Mechanic and on completion of initial training posted to sea in HMNZS OTAGO.  In 1982 Captain Keating was selected for advanced technical and professional education which was undertaken at HMNZS TAMAKI, the Auckland Institute of Technology and HMS COLLINGWOOD.  Specialising in combat system engineering he subsequently returned to sea in HMNZS CANTERBURY in 1985.

Captain Keating commissioned in May 1987 and following graduation from the RNZN Officer Training School and sea service in HMNZS WELLINGTON posted to the United Kingdom to study Systems Engineering at the Royal Naval Engineering College Manadon and HMS Collingwood.  On successful completion of the Weapon Engineering Application Course he returned to New Zealand in 1989 and posted to HMNZS SOUTHLAND as the Assistant Weapon and Electrical Engineer Officer (AWEO) followed by further sea service in HMNZS CANTERBURY as the Deputy Weapon and Electrical Engineer (DWEO).

From 1993 to 1995 he undertook further operational postings as the Weapon Engineer Officer (WEO) in HMNZ Ships SOUTHLAND and WAIKATO and then joined the Australian and New Zealand Anzac frigate project, leading a combined RNZN/RAN team tasked with the development, conduct and analysis of the Anzac Class Operational Test and Evaluation programme.  He was the Operational Trials Officer for the Anzac First of Class trials and the introduction into naval service of HMAS ANZAC and HMNZS TE KAHA.

In 1999 Captain Keating attended and graduated from the senior staff course at the Royal New Zealand Air Force, Command and Staff College. He subsequently posted into the Maritime Headquarters where he was responsible for the planning and project management of major maintenance periods for fleet units.  

In February 2001 he was promoted to Commander and assumed the post of Fleet Repair Officer with navy wide responsibility for the technical and financial management of the RNZN’s repair and maintenance programmes.

From July 2003 until December 2006 Captain Keating served New Zealand in the United States of America as the Assistant Naval Attaché and Senior Technical Officer (Navy). On returning to New Zealand in January 2007 he was promoted to his present rank and assigned to Defence Headquarters in Wellington as the Assistant Chief of Navy (Capability).

Captain Keating holds a Master of Philosophy degree in Defence and Strategic Studies from Massey University. 


Media are welcome to attend the Change of Command Ceremony at HMNZS PHILOMEL.

Photographic ID is required to enter the base.

For further information, requests for interviews and registrations of interest to attend, please contact Lieutenant Sarah Campbell, Senior Media Adviser (Navy), Ph: (09) 445 5002 or Mob: 021 244 0638.

This page was last reviewed on 19 January 2011.