Captain Jonathan Ley

CAPT Jonathan Ley

Jonathan Ley is a Lateral Entry Officer who transferred to the Royal Australian Navy in 2013. Educated at St John’s College in Cape Town, South Africa, he joined the Royal Navy at 19 and underwent initial training at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth and at sea in a variety of units.

After professional training at the Maritime Warfare School and qualification as a Ship’s Diving Officer, he was appointed to a succession of frigates and destroyers; also completing an Operational Tour in Northern Ireland and navigating a Type 23 frigate. On completion of the Principal Warfare Officer’s Course, and qualification as an Above Water Warfare and Gunnery Specialist, as dux of his year, he returned to sea as the PWO (A) and Operations Officer in HMS Northumberland. This period included a period of counter-drug operations in the Caribbean and another Middle East deployment in support of Iraqi Oil Platform protection.

Captain Ley has commanded at Sea on four separate occasions, including the Falkland Islands Patrol Ship (HMS Leeds Castle), an Offshore Patrol Vessel (HMS Severn) and a Type 22 Batch III Frigate (HMS Cornwall). He returned Cornwall to full Operational Service and a nine month Counter Piracy Deployment in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin, as the Flagship (and Flag Captain) for a NATO Task Group conducting Operation OCEAN SHIELD.

Ashore, he has worked at the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters and the Operations Directorate at the Ministry of Defence in London, where he had specific responsibility for Maritime Counter Terrorism and Piracy. More widely, he enjoyed a period in the Naval Personnel Division as the Career Manager for Principal Warfare Officers and a successful year on the Advanced Command and Staff Course (ACSC) at the Joint Services Defence Academy, which was aligned to King’s College, London. His last posting in the Royal Navy, was as the Staff Operations Officer (Head N3) to the UK Maritime Component Commander in Bahrain.

He assumed the role of Commander Sea Training (Major Fleet Units) in the Royal Australian Navy in July 2013. In this position he led training teams onboard every major surface unit in the RAN, which included multiple periods of both Unit Readiness and Mission Readiness training for Op SLIPPER, RESOLUTE and MANITOU. He also formulated and executed the initial collective training packages for the LHD, HMAS Canberra.

Selected for promotion to Captain in January 2016, he assumed the role of Director Navy Minor Projects and Simulation, within Navy Headquarters, in Canberra at the same time. In this role he directed both the acquisition of new capability and the introduction of new technology aimed at improving training methods across the RAN. He also conducted studies into the basing of future frigates, the Ship Zero training concept and continuous shipbuilding.

Captain Ley assumed command of HMAS Adelaide on 13 December 2018.