13 Feb 2008

Minister for Defence, the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP, has announced Major General Tim McOwan has been appointed as the next Special Operations Commander Australia (SOCAUST). Special Operations Command (SOCOMD) provides command and control for the ADF’s domestic and international terrorism response.

“I would like to congratulate Major General McOwan on his promotion and I am confident that he will carry on the excellent work of his predecessors, which was in the finest traditions of the Army,” Minister Fitzgibbon said.

Enlisting into the Army in 1976, Major General McOwan gained his commission from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1980. He has had a remarkable career serving in regimental appointments with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) and the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR). His service with 1 RAR included an attachment to the Rifle Company Butterworth in Malaysia and his service with the SAS included a two-year secondment to the headquarters commanding the British SAS and the Special Boat Service.

Major General McOwan has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for command and leadership during Operation WARDEN and the Conspicuous Service Medal for operational service during Operation MAZURKA.

Major General McOwan has replaced Major General Mike Hindmarsh who has commanded SOCOMD since October 2004. Major General Hindmarsh will shortly be taking up a position as the next commander of all Australian Defence Force units deployed in the Middle East Area of Operations.

“Major General Hindmarsh has provided excellent leadership for SOCOMD during a time of very high operational tempo. In his new role Australian troops will continue to make an ongoing commitment to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Iraq along with a substantial contribution to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan,” Minister Fitzgibbon said.