Commander Neil Cheverton

Commander Neil Cheverton RAN, was born in Perth, WA and grew up on the north west coast of Australia, joining the Australian Defence Academy in 1989 from the small country town of Carnarvon. After completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English and Politics, he commenced his Navigation training in Sydney in 1992. He then completed sea postings in the Destroyers Escorts HMAS Torrens, Swan and Derwent, Fremantle Class Patrol Boats HMAS Bunbury and Geraldton and the Oiler HMAS Success. In 1995 he was involved in the grounding of HMAS Torrens and gained a first hand look at the dangers of working in poorly charted waters.

In 1996, Lieutenant Cheverton assumed the role of Navigating Officer HMAS Protector consorting the then new Collins Class submarines in their first of Class trials off Adelaide. In late 1996, he was offered the position of Navigating Officer HMAS Flinders, a survey vessel based out of Cairns, Queensland where he gained his Hydrographic Surveying endorsement. It was during this time that he met his wife to be, Morag, during a port visit to Hobart. Lieutenant Cheverton saw Flinders through to the conclusion of her Operational life and assisted in her retirement to the civilian world as Senior Naval Officer prior to commencing his H2 Hydrographic Surveying Course in 1999. On completion of the course and after a brief stint on HMAS Hobart, he assumed the role of Commissioning Navigator for HS Blue Crew with the new Leeuwin Class Hydrographic Ships, HMAS Leeuwin and Melville.

After a period as NO and then OIC detached camps, including deployments for survey operations in Arnhem Land, Torres St and Operational service with Operation RELEX and Operation RELEX II, he completed his H2 competency guide and was posted as Staff Officer Operations and then Staff Officer Quality Control at the Australian Hydrographic Office in Wollongong. In 2003 he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and selected for the H1 Surveying Course at HMS Drake in the United Kingdom in 2004. On return from the UK, he was posted as the Senior Assistant Surveyor, HS Blue Crew and involved in surveys off NW Australia, Papua New Guinea, Lord Howe Island and Hawkes Bay, New Zealand as part of Exercise TASMANEX with the Royal New Zealand Navy.

In 2006 he was posted to Sydney as OIC of the RAN Hydrographic School before being selected as Executive Officer HS White Crew, assuming the role in mid 2007. During his time there, he completed surveys in Arnhem Land, Cassini Island (WA) and Princess Charlotte Bay (North Queensland). A highlight was being approved to take HMAS Leeuwin to sea as the Commanding Officer when the incumbent CO was made temporarily unfit for sea. In 2009 he was posted to staff of the new Headquarters Joint Operations Command in Bungendore as Staff Officer Rapid Environmental Assessment and Deputy Commander Military Geospatial Operations and was actively involved in Operations around the world including Afghanistan and East Timor and had pivotal roles in Operation PADANG ASSIST and Operation PAKISTAN ASSIST. In 2010 he was selected for Command of HS BLUE Crew and assumed command of the crew in May 2011.

In 2017, now promoted to Commander, Neil assumed command of HS RED Crew currently embarked in HMAS Melville.