Lieutenant Commander Andrew Thomas

LCDR Andrew Thomas

Lieutenant Commander Andrew Thomas joined the Navy in July 2001 and completed initial training as a Sub Lieutenant at the Royal Australian Naval College in Jervis Bay.

Sub Lieutenant Thomas commenced Seaman Officer training in July 2002. He completed Phase 2 of the training in HMAS Kanimbla where he was deployed for Operation RELEX II, preventing the arrival of suspected illegal entry vessels off Christmas Island.

Promoted to Lieutenant in July 2003, Thomas then deployed twice to assist the Solomon Islands Government restore law and order under Operation ANODE. Following the operational deployments in HMA Ships Hawkesbury and Gascoyne he was awarded his Bridge Warfare Certificate and primary qualification as a Junior Warfare Officer.

After completing his diving and demolitions prerequisites, Lieutenant Thomas successfully passed the Clearance Diver Acceptance Test and commenced specialist training in February 2005 as a Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Officer (MCDO). He graduated in March 2006 and posted to HMAS Huon as the Operations Officer for a Unit Readiness Workup. A deployment to South East Asia followed and he participated in the Western Pacific Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Exercise in Singapore.

In June 2007, he was posted to 92 Wing Operations Liaison Officer at RAAF Base Edinburgh, South Australia, while a detachment of P-3C Orions were based in the Arabian Gulf. He returned to the fleet in 2009 for Workups and a deployment to New Zealand in HMAS Norman as the Diving Officer. In July 2010, he became the Officer in Charge of MCM at Australian Clearance Diving Team Four (AUSCDT FOUR) where he lead a detachment to dispose of WWII Ordnance in Darwin Harbour and participate again in the Western Pacific MCMEX in Singapore.

Lieutenant Thomas was posted the Collins Class Submarine Full Cycle Docking program in 2013-14 where he undertook a Masters in Project Management and was involved in the Combat Systems refurbishment and upgrades. He was a Senior Defence Interviewer at Defence Force Recruiting 2015-16. In January 2017, he posted to HMAS Diamantina as the Diving Officer and received a CJOPS Commendation for his diving role in the recovery of a US Military Aircraft in waters off Queensland. Lieutenant Thomas then undertook duties as Staff Officer Clearance Diving at the Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Task Group in March 2018 where he participated in international MCM exercises in Busan, South Korea and Exercise RIMPAC in San Diego, US.

He took over as Executive Officer in HMAS Huon in April 2019 and, following Workups, was involved in locating a civilian aircraft in waters off Port Stevens. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in March 2021 and in July 2021 became the Fleet MCDO at Sea Training Group.

Lieutenant Commander Thomas assumed duties as the Commanding Officer of Australian Clearance Diving Team Four in December 2021.