Captain Jonathan Earley

CAPT Jonathan Earley

Captain Jonathan Earley joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Maritime Warfare Officer in January 1990 from Perth, Western Australia. Following initial training at the Australian Defence Force Academy and RAN Naval College HMAS Creswell, he served in RAN and Royal Canadian Navy warships as an Officer of the Watch and Air Intercept Controller, deploying extensively throughout SE Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East.

Captain Earley qualified as a Warfare Officer in 1999 specialising in Air Warfare. He was awarded the Sydney-Emden Prize as dux of the warfare course before joining HMAS Anzac later that year. He again deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) in 2001 after which he was awarded a Maritime Commander’s Commendation for his work in developing procedures used by the ship for non-compliant boarding operations and force protection. In early 2002, he was selected for a two-year exchange with the Royal Navy and served as the Anti-Air Warfare Officer and Operations Officer in the destroyer, HMS Newcastle. Key highlights of this posting included counter-drug and NATO counter-terrorism deployments to both the Caribbean and Mediterranean. Upon return to Australia in mid-2004, he was then posted to the Australian Fleet Sea Training Group – Major Fleet Unit, initially as the Fleet Direction Officer responsible for validating Air Warfare standards within the Fleet before assuming the role of Operations Officer to Commodore Flotillas.

In late 2005, Captain Earley was appointed Executive Officer of the Anzac Class frigate, HMAS Ballarat. He was awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his leadership during the ship’s mission work-up and subsequent deployment to the MEAO. Following a brief period as Chief of Staff (Coordination) in Fleet Headquarters, Captain Earley attended the Australian Command and Staff College (ACSC) in 2008 graduating with distinction, before being appointed Deputy Director Experimentation (Maritime) in Strategic Policy Division. In mid-2009, he was selected as Staff Officer to the Chief of Navy (CN) and was subsequently elevated to the Chief of Staff role in 2010.

Captain Earley commanded the frigates Parramatta and Ballarat from 2011-2012. Following a brief stint in Parramatta, he remained in Ballarat for the majority of his command time. Highlights of his tenure included participation in numerous domestic exercises and operations, including a highly successful North East Asia deployment to China, Korea and Japan. Prior to ending his time in Ballarat, Captain Earley was selected as the inaugural Executive Officer of Australia’s first Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) assault ship, HMAS Canberra, and facilitated the introduction of the capability into Australian naval service from 2013-14.

In late 2014, he was promoted to Captain and appointed Director of Maritime Operations located in Headquarters Joint Operations Command. In this role he led the development of the Fleet Activity Schedule to meet Navy’s force generation requirements as well as coordinating Navy’s contribution to joint/allied exercises and operations, domestic/international engagement events and multiple humanitarian aid and disaster relief activities. He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2017 Australia Day Honours List for his performance in this role.

In January 2017, Captain Earley assumed command of HMAS Adelaide, the second and newest LHD in the Australian Fleet.

Captain Earley holds Masters Degrees in both Maritime Studies and Strategy and Policy.