Lieutenant Commander Stephen Gaisford

LCDR Stephen Gaisford

Lieutenant Commander Stephen Gaisford, RAN is a native of South Africa who immigrated to Australia in 2001. After a career in the Australian Army as a combat helicopter pilot, he commissioned in the Navy as a Maritime Warfare Officer in 2006, following a year in the civil aviation sector.

As a junior Maritime Warfare Officer, he completed multiple postings in HMA Ships Newcastle, Warramunga, Pirie, Broome, Ballarat and Sydney (IV). Sub Lieutenant Gaisford was awarded his Bridge Warfare Certificate in Sydney in 2009. Sub Lieutenant Gaisford served as the Communications Officer and senior Officer of the Watch in Success before commencing training as a Fighter Controller with the RAAF in 2010. 

Lieutenant Gaisford distinguished himself with being one of the first RAN airborne Fighter Controllers and Air Battle Managers, attaining 313 hours over three years in No 2 Squadron, operating the E7A Wedgetail AEW&C. On completion, he posted to Australian Submarine Operations (CTG 627.1) in 2013 and participated in international operations and exercises including Operation Southern Indian Ocean, the search for MH370.

Lieutenant Gaisford completed Principal Warfare Officer (PWO) course in May 2016, attaining the CEA Warfare Theory Prize. Completing his PWO tour in Anzac, he was awarded a Commander Joint Operations Bronze level Commendation for his role as Operations Officer in leading the RAN task group through multiple South East Asian Deployments.

As an experienced PWO, Lieutenant Commander Gaisford served ashore at the Australian Maritime Warfare Centre as the Staff Officer Above Water Warfare. There his exceptional work in combat systems, air warfare, gunnery and Doctrine earned him a RAN Fleet Commanders Silver Commendation.

Lieutenant Commander Gaisford, holds the distinction of being the first non US officer to be trained as an Integrated Air and Missile Defence Warfare Tactics Instructor (IAMD WTI). He completed a two and half year posting to the USN at the Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Centre, where he conducted advanced warfare mentoring, doctrine and tactical development as an IAMD WTI. There he was awarded the prestigious Arleigh Burke Leadership award.

Lieutenant Commander Gaisford holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Aviation Management from Griffith University.

Lieutenant Commander Gaisford took Command of HMAS Childers on June 2022.