Commodore Richard Powell joined the Royal Navy in 1980. After initial officer training, which included service in the South Atlantic during the 1982 Falklands campaign, he was appointed to the Hong Kong Squadron as a patrol boat navigator. In 1985, he returned to the United Kingdom, and qualified as a Lynx helicopter pilot. As a Principle Warfare Officer, he served in the aircraft carrier HMS ARK ROYAL and the Frigates HMS IRON DUKE and HMS NORFOLK seeing operational service in the Balkans, Sierra Leone and Kosovo. On promotion to Commander in 2000, he assumed Command of the Destroyer HMS YORK. During a most challenging appointment, he deployed in 2002 to the Middle East as part of Operation Oracle (Afghanistan). In 2003, he returned to the Gulf for Operation Telic (Iraq) where he provided air defence to the coalition amphibious forces during the assault on the Al Faw peninsular. Promoted to Captain in 2006, he joined Navy Command Headquarters where he was responsible for the introduction into service and preparation for operations of all the Royal Navy’s frigates, destroyers and patrol boats. In May 2009, he assumed Command of the brand new Type 45 Destroyer HMS DAUNTLESS, and oversaw her acceptance into operational service in the Royal Navy. In 2011, he attended The Royal College of Defence Studies where he completed a course in international security and strategy. He was appointed as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the 2012 Jubilee Birthday Honours list and selected for promotion to Commodore in September 2012. In 2013 he attended the Defence and Strategic Studies course in Canberra prior to taking over as the British Defence Adviser to Australia in 2014. He holds Master of Arts degrees from Kings College London (Defence Studies) and Deakin University Australia (Strategic Studies). He has also earned a Master of Science degree (Maritime Technology) from Kingston University London.
Richard is married to Catherine, a consultant surgeon and has two daughters. Alexandra (24) has graduated from Exeter University and is currently working in the UK. Lucy (19) is attending university in the UK. He is a Younger Brethren of Trinity House and an Honorary Liveryman of the Clothworkers Guild in the City of London. A keen sportsman, his main interests lie on the water. He has sailed extensively in yachts and dinghies and represents the Royal Navy in windsurfing. Making the most of Canberra, he has recently taken up mountain biking, although he is no longer sure this was a good idea.